It is an individual and personal equation, involving a combination of autonomy, intrinsic motivation, understanding of cause and effect and the intellect and character to make empathetic choices.
Preserving client self-determination in conflict resolution is the purview of ‘the experts”: People who are more educated than the client in specific areas, whose burden it is to take on the responsibility and ethic of care for the ignorant, inexperienced client.
The unstated message behind the label of “expert” indicates elite-based judgment that creates an atmosphere of superiority, cloistered protection from criticism, a thin skin and an outsized ego.
In an economic world of industrialization, expertise is perceived as the coin of the realm; but, when the world of industrialization fractures (as it is right now) the real power lays not with expertise but with openness.
The field of conflict resolution, based in a foundation of social justice, has developed an affinity for expertise, at the expense of client self-determination.
But, how much information does clients in conflict need before they are informed enough to be “self-determined”?
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: email@example.com
HSCT’s website: http://www.hsconsultingandtraining.com