[Advice] Voting on Conflict

Every day is Election Day, when you are making choices about how you respond (or don’t) to a conflict or dispute.

  • Avoidance means you’re voting with your emotional feet to keep going and not confront.
  • Attack means you’re voting with your emotional feet to engage the other party in a way that makes you feel comfortable, but which may do nothing to alleviate or change the process.
  • Accommodate means you’re voting with your emotional feet to “go along to get along” as either part of a larger strategy, or just because you don’t have the energy to confront, don’t think that it’s worth it, or don’t want to be involved with the conflict process at all.

There are many societal and cultural messages about voting on Election Day in the United States. Many of them focus on words like duty, responsibility and accountability and equate voting for a person with meaning and mattering in a civic sense.

In a democracy (or a republic) voting matters for many reasons, but the words that we use to get across the message that going to perform a public act privately one day every two to four years, could also be applied to educating ourselves about the ways we vote with our emotional feet.

Otherwise, why make a choice (about a candidate, or a conflict) at all?

-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: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[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!


Systems of the 21st Century

For many organizations, the 21st century has proven to be pretty much the same as the 20th century.

People still get hired and fired in much the same ways that they did 20 years ago.

Organizations and businesses still do the core processes of their businesses—sales, finance, marketing, accounting—in the same way that they did—with some minor cosmetic changes—30 years ago.

And, unfortunately, organizations and businesses still handle conflict in the same way that they did 30 years ago. They still view conflict as a process rather than as a product.

They still view the resolution of conflicts—however they are resolved—as “the way we do things around here.” This is reflected in either the avoidance of the process, the accommodation of the tradition of the process, or the attacking of outside interveners with new ideas as “not understanding how we do things here.”

Many organizations still pay outside consultants or have internal offices and departments, designed to “handle” conflicts in the ways that the organization sees as comfortable and preserving the status quo.

In order to do the brave work of the 21st century, peacemakers must become more and more involved in developing bleeding edge systems for organizations, because the changes to systems that on the surface appear cosmetic, will have deep ramifications for the future.

-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
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

A Fundamental Breakdown

Depending upon who you talk to, the social contract is either breaking down, or being renegotiated, with terms that favor the disaffected, the previously ignored and perennially held back.


Fundamental Attribution Error, correspondence bias and the attribution affect—all cornerstones of modern social psychology—describe the contemporary social contract in two basic ways:

  • External: If something goes wrong, other people are to blame and should have controlled their situations better.
  • Internal: If something goes wrong, I am not to blame because situations happen that are beyond my control all the time.

When we seek to blame others—or blame circumstances—for our misfortunes, disputes and conflicts, we shift the social contract in subtle and profound ways.And, depending upon whom you talk to, personal responsibility, or powerful institutionalized forces, are to blame.

But, when there’s no one to attribute cause and error to, and when there’s no set of circumstances that can be forgiven, how is conflict to be resolved?

-Peace Be With You All-

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

Quality is Job One

Trust is evident when a company, organization, association or individual promotes themselves, their ideas, their products or their services online, either via social media or via search.

Trust works in a social sense (again, both on and off line) because without a relationship, even if it’s a tangential one, connection cannot happen and then referrals cannot happen and cash—revenue—cannot change hands.

Trust is the only thing that works to facilitate this transaction.

Trust works when something—a product, service or idea—is given generously, and nothing is expected in return. This is something new in our industrial based, “let’s all make a better widget the next time around,” process that has dominated the Western world for the last 80 years.

Trust worked then as well, but it worked more as trust in an industrial based, quality driven process, rather than people.

Trust got us more stuff, because the corollary to trusting in the industrial process, was trusting that the industrial employer would provide a safe job, for life, with safe working conditions: Same thing with government promises based on social programs, social safety and social/business regulation, both local and national.

Process, quality and precision came first, safety, security and high pay came second, people, relationships and “giving it away for free” came third—if they made the list at all.

Remember the old Ford ad tagline from the 90’s: “Quality is job ONE.”

Even the Bible, in Psalm 115, the exhortation to trust is evident in verse 11 which states that you who fear the Lord (where “fear “means to stand in awe, to be afraid or to have reverence for a superior being) trust in the Lord, for He is their help and their shield.

Why belabor this point?

Well, there are 20,000 volunteer mediators working in dispute resolution centers, court rooms and law offices around the country right now. And if you are a mediator or a conflict professional, trying to make a living—or make a little revenue—doing this work, then you are in a tough bind.

This is because so many folks who could be your target market for trust, connection, referral and revenue are already knee deep in trusting that a non-fee based relationship will endlessly provide for all of their needs.

Mediation is about connection and relationship. Mostly, it’s also about trust: Trusting the mediator to get out of the way; trusting the other party to deal fairly; trusting the process of mediation to produce whatever outcomes are desired by the two parties in conflict.

How does an enterprising professional then, transform freely given trust into paying revenue?

Well, that’s the real question for this week, isn’t it?

-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
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/
HSCT’s website: http://www.hsconsultingandtraining.com