[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
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!


Trust Me

“Trust me. I got this.”


If there is any other phrase that precedes a sense of oncoming dread and mistrust, it’s this one.

If there is a statement that preceded eventual conflict more than any other, we aren’t aware of it.

Trust, when freely given, often operates as a noun, describing a person, place, thing or an animal.  In such a context, trust transforms a relationship from one level and moves it into a far more intimate level.

However, in the above statement, trust transforms from a noun to a verb, requiring the giver to transform into a passive actor in their own drama. In such a context, trust transfers control from an active actor, engaged with their own outcomes, to another active actor whose motives may not be—well—trustworthy.

The sender of the phrase is looking to reassure the receiver and, typically, this sentence means that the reassurance is not working.

The professional peacebuilder should probably avoid the transformation of trust from an active noun to a passive verb, unless the relationship that she is building is long-term enough to warrant such a change.

Otherwise, she’s just asking for trouble.

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

HIT Piece 08.26.2014

Faith has to be the driver.

If you are building something, after doing everything that you can do, with all the resources that you have available to yourself, then all that you have left, should be faith.

But, have I done everything that I can do in my power to build my idea?

Or have I stopped short, expecting faith to close the gap.

I know that work without faith is worthless, but work without effort (smoke without fire) makes faith look foolish.

Where do you think I am at?

-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/

Freedom From Fear

Feedback is part of a constructive process that involves collaboration and trust building.
Feedback is a giving action, which should come from a horn of plenty.
“No” is the beginning of a destructive process that involves competition and deception.
“No” is a taking action, that comes from a position of scarcity.
Feedback is active, but a “no”—particularly the ones provided “in your best interests,” or “to help”—are passive acts of resistance.
By the way, don’t confuse feedback from the crowd with a “no.” 
Also, don’t confuse a “no” from an individual as feedback that reflects the crowd’s opinion of your idea/work/project.
-Peace Be With You All- 
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com

Rousing Action

What is the difference between cooperating on a project and collaborating on an initiative?
Over the last two weeks, we’ve covered the first two legs of the abundance economy, built online, and of the future, for the purposes of understanding what our leverage points will be to accomplish entrepreneurial goals.
The first two legs of the stool are trustand generosity.  The third is collaboration.
Cooperation is working together to accomplish the same goal.
Collaboration is the act of working with someone to produce or create something.
Collaboration and cooperation are synonyms in the dictionary. However, in reality one is a passive act and the other is an active act. 
Both require teamwork in order to accomplish a goal and in a generous economy, based in an ethic of abundance; but, one asks of people to make a decision and to get involved.

The other asks people to come along for the ride.

Both require a certain value set.
But when one is active, versus one being passive, how do you choose which content to use to rouse your audience to action?
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com

Top 8 Negative Communication Traits

Everyone is in sales all the time everywhere.

We try to persuade our family to go to the store, or on vacation. 
We try to persuade our bosses to give us a raise, or more control in our division.
We try to convince others to buy whatever it is that we are selling as part of our jobs, or our volunteer work.
However,  here at HSCT in our role as peacemakers, we are constantly reminded that it’s not what we say, but how we say it, that is important. 
There are ways to drive these people apart
What we say may lead to escalation. 
How we say what we say, will definitely lead to escalation: Particularly that escalation from merely a difficult situation or conversation to an all-out conflict that may emotionally ignite and reignite for years.
What are the top eight ways to communicate with other people that will guarantee you a negative relationship?

  • Passive-Aggressiveness: This is the classic “I don’t have a problem. Them folks over there have a problem.” If you don’t think that you are the problem, it’s time to get self-aware about…well…yourself.
  • Put-Downs: “Of course Sheila causes the problem, she’s never not been an idiot in this organization.” Or, “When was the last time Bill actually contributed anything of value?” Cue everybody laughing. Cue a difficult conversation upcoming with Bill or Sheila.
  • Scapegoating: “I didn’t have anything to do with the failure of this idea. I was just the middleman.”
  • Denial: Is not just a river in Egypt. “I didn’t do it. You never saw me do it. You can’t prove anything.”
  • Argumentativeness: There are people who love to cynically disagree and there are people who aren’t seeking to disagree, but to merely act as the “Devil’s Advocate.” The first type seeks to destroy for the sake of elevating themselves and dismissing others (see Put-Downs above). The second type seeks to push others to greatness in projects and ideas. It’s a simple matter of collaboration versus condemnation.
  • Lying: This one is simple. Just remember, it’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up. Just ask President Nixon. Actually, no, ask former President Bill Clinton.
  • Slander:  Slander is a false spoken statement. For instance “Sheila has to have this project succeed, after all, she’s gotta support her kids since her husband lost his job.” Libel is a false written statement. For instance, Sheila has ten kids by four men and can’t support any of them.
  • Gossip: This last one is particularly cancerous and corrosive because in life, while “that’s just how Bill is,” or “Sheila always takes a long lunch,” may not immediately seem to be damaging, the long term effects of such statements can serve to lead to everything other negative communication behavior on this list.

-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com