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Conflict is a normal and inevitable part of life.

Conflict occurs when someone acts or fails to act in a way that blocks our access to something that is important to us. It is an event that occurred in our past that we bring into the present and often project into our future.

The Nature of Conflict

Conflict in the present is a story about our past.

Imagine the final moments of a championship minor hockey game. The kids have played their hearts out and are locked in a tie game. The stands are filled with cheering family and friends. The referee misses a close call at the blueline and one team scores to win the game. Instantly half the stands are outraged, and half are ecstatic. If you were to meet with parents from each team the next day you would hear two quite different stories of what happened and what they made it mean.

When they bring it forward into the present and enroll those around them in their story of fault and blame, they become trapped in conflict. When caught in this trap our future becomes all about conflict.

We then see families torn apart, friendships destroyed, and fortunes lost in legal battles, all over who is right and wrong.

In my next blog I will share some lessons from my 30 years as a mediator and how they can help you get out in front of conflict.

For more information about the design of your mediation please contact us at: [email protected]