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B.C. has proclaimed October 18-24th, 2021, as “Conflict Resolution Week.” Conflict Resolution Week Proclamation 2021 (gov.bc.ca)
Why do I think this is important and a timely month for this? Because, conflict touches everyone, can be a significant source of stress, AND conflict can be SCARY! Personally, I avoid conflict in my personal life wherever I can. You may be thinking this is odd for someone who has a Masters in Conflict Analysis and Management and wants to be a mediator. Although I don’t like conflict, I share this aversion with 66% of the population who avoid or ignore conflict all together (www.johnsingleton.ca). Turns out that our tendencies towards conflict can be traced back to our childhoods and the environments we grew up in. People who avoid conflict often expect negative outcomes about voicing their opinions and asserting yourself can feel scary or unnerving. However, through my education and a lot of self-reflection, I have come to understand that conflict can be a healthy part of communication and bring about needed change. Conflict also provides an opportunities to deepen our understanding of ourselves, our family, friends, and coworkers.
“Conflict Resolution Week” aims to raise public awareness of the many collaborative conflict resolutions processes available to help solve many types of problems. Collaborative processes such as mediation, arbitration, and other creative peaceful means of resolving conflict can be used in schools, families, businesses, communities, ect.
To learn more, check our www.mediatebc.com, a not-for profit organization funded by the Government of BC and the Law Foundation, that helps protect the public by managing the province’s designated roster of mediators and med-arb practitioners.
Such a good point Barb! I used to teach nursing students about the importance of constructive conflict for growth and improvement. We try to avoid it, but without conflict, we stagnate. Great post!