Using ‘Nonviolent Communication’ as a Mediator – February 2, 2007
Published in the Proceedings of the 15th Annual Symposium on Conflict Resolution, Ottawa, Canada

I am a mediator and group facilitator primarily working with workplaces, organizations and other large group and community conflicts. For the last two years I’ve had a new tool in my toolkit that I think would benefit other mediators…. Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a communication methodology developed by American psychologist and mediator Dr. Marshall Rosenberg. He has written prolifically about the application of his approach in schools, prisons, with families and in international conflict. I recommend as an overview of this work, his book Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life.

NVC has been of great use to me as I help clients have conversations they haven’t been able to hold productively on their own. When I offer workplace communication training, NVC now provides the core of what I teach.

This paper introduces nonviolent communication and explains how I use this approach before, during and after mediation.

Using ‘Nonviolent Communication’ as a Mediator (7 pages – pdf 156kb)

 

Building Peace within Nonprofit Organizations – February 2005
Published in the Proceedings of the 14th Annual Symposium on Conflict Resolution, Ottawa, Canada

“Conflict competence is essential to create energetic organizations with strong relationships between staff, volunteers, members, partners, funders and other stakeholders. It improves morale, clarity of purpose and allows the nonprofit to work with greater strength to achieve its goals….” (from the paper’s introduction)

This paper presents

the sources of tension and conflict especially common within nonprofit and voluntary organizations
the challenges and advantages of nonprofits in reaping the positive benefits of conflict
the principles that underlie effective conflict resolution within this sector
peacebuilding interventions for nonprofit organizations

Building Peace within Nonprofit Organizations – (14 pages – pdf 224kb)

 

Engaging the ‘Physical’ in Conflict Resolution – February 2003
Published in the Proceedings of the 12th Annual Symposium on Conflict Resolution, Ottawa, Canada

Native teaching tells us that to be effective group processes need to engage all four aspects of a person: intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical. While many conflict resolution practitioners feel the truth in this statement, we are often at a loss in terms of how to implement it.

Standard mediation and facilitation techniques rely largely on the intellectual and emotional capacities of participants. In some sectors, the spirit is increasingly being acknowledged. Yet, the physical aspect of participants finds only limited recognition in our work.

Can we strengthen our capacity as process leaders if we engage people more at the physical level? How can we do this in a way useful to our clients and appropriate to our culture? Are we comfortable doing this?

This paper, based on a symposium presentation, surveys the approaches used to involve people physically in ways that contribute to the success of conflict resolution and group facilitation. It presents a spectrum of passive-to-active intervention techniques aimed at engaging people physically in the conflict resolution process.

Engaging the ‘Physical’ in Conflict Resolution (10 pages – pdf 264kb)