[Podcast] The Epidemiology of Conflict – The Earbud_U Minute

Conflicts, disputes and other disagreements are not the disease. They are symptoms of the disease.

When we think about how a virus spreads, doctors, researchers, data gatherers and others look at the patterns, causes and effects of health and disease conditions in a particular population.

Epidemiology is a very specific interdisciplinary science, but when we talk about the presenting issues that lead to conflict, even in our post-therapeutic age, we are still hesitant to become armchair analysts.

Or, we analyze and get it wrong.

The beginning of understanding the how and why the symptoms of conflict are confused with the nature of a conflict itself, begins with taking apart the behavioral and personality choices that individuals make—and that particular populations, in particular environments, support.

Think about it: In the workplace, there still remains the illusion that resources are limited, thus competition is reinforced.

Thus, individuals who would rather be collaborative are now in conflict with the underpinnings of the environment where they spend 40 to 60 hours per week.

Think about it: In the church—or any other religious organization—the illusion remains that faith and belief will remove the stain of previous wrongs and mistakes without active engagement on the part of the individual.

Thus, individuals who are looking for active engagement wind up within groups that would rather remain collectively passive in the face of all manner of wrongdoing.

Think about it: In the school, bullying behavior manifests, but politicians, teachers, policy makers and others would rather support a broken system that encourages collective, Industrial system based responses.

Thus, micro-schooling with smaller groups (or homeschooling) is pooh-poohed and parents (who vote) raise children who are overly aggressive due to familial environments, and are never directly confronted about the results of their uninformed parenting styles by the “system.”

Root causes—and getting back to them—is often the first thing that is dismissed by critics of therapy, counseling, and even mediation.

But without exploring and getting to the root of root causes, the solutions to the corrosive nature of conflict will never be fully teased apart.

And we will continue to be collectively surprised by apathy and inaction, bullying, poor communication, and ineffective organizational responses, even as we build more tools that separate us further.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principle Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
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[ICYMI] Does All This Stuff Really Work?


But it requires you to engage and be active, rather than passive.

How many people do you know that are passive participants in their own lives?

How many of them are in conflict with others?

Stuff doesn’t just “happen”(no matter what the bumper sticker may tell you) and active participation in choosing to be empathetic, to be a listener or to be positive is tough.

  • The family won’t save a person in conflict.
  • The workplace won’t save a person in conflict.
  • The school won’t save a person in conflict.
  • The church won’t save a person in conflict.
  • The society won’t save a person in conflict.

The only person who can save a person in conflict is themselves.

Originally published on November 24, 2014.

Download the FREE E-Book, The Savvy Peace Builder by heading to http://www.hsconsultingandtraining.com/e-book-the-savvy-peace-builder/ today!


[ICYMI] Jezebel’s Without a Blog

Outside of Western mysticism, or Hollywood entertainment, there isn’t much talk in the wider world about the presence, or influence, of demons, or evil spirits, anymore.

And if a person or organization does address them, they are immediately cast as a retrograde individual with little contemporary understanding of psychology, sociology, social justice or basic science.

And yet, the cosmopolitan modern civilization that we have built, actively acknowledges that there are positive spiritual elements to some of the work that peace builders perform in the restorative justice space, the mindfulness space, and even in the space where emotional intelligence crosses over into social work.

And yet we struggle to assign and define a negative spiritual element to the damaging consequences of traumas, conflicts, disputes and disruptions.

We collectively, actively acknowledge that there is an entire world outside of the world that we experience through our five natural senses, but we struggle to identify the nature of that world within the comfortable scientific realms of psychology, sociology, or biology.

Thus, we identify people as having behavioral and personality issues and problems, but we too often neglect the long-term, hard work of nurturing their spirit, in favor of the easy, short-term work of medicating their biology.

Nowhere is this more evident that in the church, where high conflict people exist. High conflict people—in the natural, biological sense—have issues that cannot be remedied through just “talking it out.”

There is plenty of writing and theological research around the area of Jezebel spirits, named after the queen in 1Kings 9-37, not the 4th wave feminist blogging website. But when the Christian conciliator attempts to bring knowledge of this spirit into the secular world of workplace conflicts, they run the risk of being laughed out of the room.

At best.

So, here’s the rule for the Christian conciliator: As with a high conflict individual, recognizing a Jezebel spirit’s presence in a secular workplace, should be kept as a private diagnoses, rather than a public proclamation.

In the church however, an open acknowledgement may be required of the presence of such a disruptive and conflict generating spirit—along with the realization that some people behave in the manner of high conflict individuals.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sorrells79

Guest Blogger Joe Coudriet: Combating Negative Communication, Part II

In the continuing effort to add the most value to your life that we possibly can here at Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT), we are bringing back Pastor Joe Coudriet of Southern Tier Family Life Church (STFLC) based out of Binghamton, NY.
This is the second part of his blog post (interrupted last week by our observations and reactions from volunteering in the OKC area) focusing on negative communication patterns.
And, as our national holiday of July 4th approaches, family, friends and others will be communicating, hopefully with positive communication patterns.
But if not, well…here’s Pastor Joe…
 Last time, I talked about facing the negative patterns of communication that effect our relationships by first being true to them; meaning owning them.  It can be tough and it can hurt, but like the words of the song says, it can ‘hurt so good’ if we’ll deal with them straight up.
I want to move in the direction of replacing the negative with the positive but before we can we have to see what needs corrected.
How do we deal with anger and negative emotions.
First of all, anger is not a thing, it’s a feeling.  Anger has no power in and of itself unless you bring action to it; to get ‘angry.’  Getting ‘angry’ can happen in our heads or manifest through our actions and when they do, we likely hurt ourselves and others.  And, who wants that?
Fear of Unemployment
So, when you are feeling ‘anger’ or experiencing negative emotions, learn to do the following things:
1-Wait 3 minutes and do nothing.  This can give the mind, and the spirit, time to kick in to bring clarity.
2-Link your desire to respond with a thought about what that ‘action’ would bring about (more anger, hurt to you or others) and,
3-Combat the thought, immediately or after the 3 minute wait, by speaking something positive; a blessing, an observation, whatever.
Just because you get angry, or experience negative emotions, doesn’t mean that you have to empower those feelings.
Face them, consider the consequences of acting on them and replace them.
 Check out the STLFC website at www.stflc.org and their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/STFLC?fref=pb&hc_location=profile_browser.
Or, if you’re in the Southern Tier Area on a Sunday morning from 10am-12pm, stop by the Boys and Girls Club of Binghamton, NY, and attend service.
 -Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
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