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Dignity, Humiliation, and Conflict

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights,” this is the first statement of Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Since this declaration’s adoption in 1948, political rights have been foregrounded. Now the time has come for humankind to give dignity sustainable attention. Human rights are embedded in dignity, but dignity has a larger humanizing scope than rights. Dignity entails justice and peace, and it manifests as unity in diversity and supports an ethics of care.

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How To Manage Financial Conflicts Within Your Family During The Holidays

 

Does your family argue or fight about money or finances during the Holidays? Expectations about what kinds of gifts to buy, how much you can afford to spend on travel or even when siblings or other family members ask for money can cause conflict. Dave and Pattie will talk about some of the causes of Holiday financial conflicts, some strategies to keep from being sucked into the drama and even some tips about how to calm family members down when emotions about money are high.

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Organization and Communication – Surefire Ways to Reduce Conflict When Planning Your Wedding

love-1284492_1920Did you know that there are 6,200 weddings a day in the US and that June is the most popular month for weddings in the US? According to Sound Vision’s article on wedding statistics, the average wedding budget is $20,000 with 178 guests attending the event.  Organizing a wedding is no small feat when it comes to communicating a vision, creating a plan and coordinating all of the moving parts including service vendors, bridal parties, family members and guests.

Planning a wedding can be a very stressful process whether you are having a large or small event. There is potential for conflict to arise all the time, particularly between the bride and groom. My husband Bernard and I are newlyweds; we got married in September of 2015, and we had a 200 person wedding in the city of Baltimore.

I won’t sugarcoat anything, despite being the happiest day of our lives, planning a wedding of that size was incredibly stressful and overwhelming at times. However, the one key way I minimized the stress and sidestepped a lot of conflicts resulting from untold details was remaining organized and constantly communicating. On more than one occasion, vendors would say that I was the most organized and communicative bride they had ever met; a title I wear proudly.

Why are organization and communication so important when planning a wedding? 

Unless you are lucky enough to have a wedding planner, chances are the bride and groom (but most likely the bride), are doing the majority of the planning. There is a lot of details that go into making the day the magical one you envisioned. Being able to keep track of everything is necessary to ensure miscommunication and confusion don’t lead to conflicts.

How can brides stay organized and effectively communicate when planning their wedding?

  1. Get a Binder. My binder became my bible during the planning of our event. I had it organized into sections by the vendor; and I included my contract, pictures of what I wanted, etc. from each particular vendor filed in their section. While I know, it may be easier to have everything located on the web somewhere; I enjoyed having something tangible to hold so I didn’t have to sort through my phone to find stuff.
  1. Imagine What You Want. I am a very decisive person so when it came time to plan our wedding I had a very clear-cut idea of what I wanted which I think made things much easier when delivering my vision to our vendors. I know not every bride is like that, so vendors are great resources for sharpening your ideas. However, it important that you go in with some idea for them to springboard off of that way you don’t end up with a theme or colors you didn’t want.
  1. Ask Questions. I had a vendor tell me they felt like they were in an interview when I came to inquire about using their services because I asked so many questions. Before my first meeting with each vendor, I Googled, ” Questions to ask your [ fill in vendor].” I found that I not only covered a lot of ground, but I was able to see if they would be the best fit for the event.
  1. Create an Itinerary. You may think this is a little much, but I strongly recommend sending out an itinerary the week before your wedding to anyone who is involved: vendors, bridal party, readers, etc. The itinerary I created for our bridal party beginning with the rehearsal and ending with ceremony covered everything they needed to know from what to wear to the rehearsal and times they needed to be there to a checklist of what they needed to bring the day of the wedding. By sending this plan out, I was able to minimize my stress the night of the rehearsal and the actual wedding day, and I avoided having to answer repetitive questions.
  1. Speak Up. I have heard many brides complain after the fact that they didn’t like something a vendor/bridal party/family member did; or were disappointed by something a vendor/bridal party/ family member didn’t do. My rule is if you don’t say it or clarify it you cannot expect them to know what you wanted or didn’t want. Many brides fear being labeled a “Bridezilla” but if you hold back your wishes or don’t make sure everyone understands when things don’t go as planned you cannot blame anyone but yourself.

 

Have a Great Weekend,

Abigail R. C. McManus M.S Negotiation and Conflict Management

Apprentice

 

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Siblings That Squabble Don’t Have To Punch and Shout

 

 

Summer is ending and the school year draws near. Our kids have had lots of fun times together. Siblings can be the best of friends, but conflict and disagreements are also a natural part of their ever-changing relationships. We may not always realize it, but we have many ways to help our kids learn how to “fight fair” – to work out disagreements without punching or shouting.

Join me and my returning guest, Parent Coach Janet Bonnin of Fine-Tuned Families. We will dive into a great discussion with many tips and ideas you can take to head off big “blow ups” and guide constructive communication. We will also be joined by a super mother of eight, Maggie Luevano, and two of her kids who are part of the Hill Country musical group, “Mariachi ‘L'”. Maggie and her kids will share stories of growing up in this fantastic family, a brief history of the group’s formation, and how the family has dealt with sibling disagreements over the years. Don’t miss this great conversation!     


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Cooling Down Conflict in Your Family Business

 

 Being in business with your family can bring lots of rewards, including financial security and personal pleasure in working with people you know well and love. But it can also be the source of misunderstanding, antagonism and painful conflict. The show looks at common causes of conflict in family businesses and how that conflict can be resolved and even prevented.                   

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You Thought Your Marriage Was Miserable- Wait Till You Get to Court…

 

 

 

The breakup of a marriage almost always involves some level of conflict between spouses, but the process of litigation during divorce ratchets that conflict up to a level of devastation for all members of the immediate and even extended family. Instead of getting away from the turmoil by divorcing, the adversarial nature of a legal “fight” can actually create permanent emotional and financial damage. If the goal of divorce is to stop the daily conflict, then the process should reduce that conflict while helping establish better relationships for the children and their parents. We will discuss how parents can create an emotionally supportive divorce that promotes a healthy relationship between themselves and a loving future for their children.

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How to Have Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High

Crucial Conversations exist when the stakes are high, opinions vary, and when emotions run strong and it is in these conversations where our greatest potential lies, we will discuss ways to handle these conversations in a healthy and productive way. Crucial Conversations creates a new language around communications and how they can best be handled. It approaches the issue in a very human way that stimulates our desire to relate to others while feeling good about us. You will read some real and concrete methods for getting control of yourself and staying focused through those challenging moments that pop up in everyone’s life.

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Managing Conflict in Your Blended Family

 

Marney and Kimzena ZumetaRaising children in a blended family can be challenging, frustrating, and overwhelming at times.  It can be a real test of endurance to manage to stay together through some of the tough times that can erupt with your stepchildren.  It can also be a time of growth and lasting relationships. Join Kim Abraham, Marney Studaker-Cordner and Zena Zumeta to hear how conflict is actually an opportunity to teach your children – step and biological – values and skills to last a lifetime.

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Community Mediation: Empowerment and Dialogue

 

In many communities around the country there are community mediation centers supported by volunteer mediators.  Community Boards of San Francisco is the oldest community mediation center in the country, started in 1976.  The philosophy of community mediation centers is to empower community members to resolve their own disputes rather than resorting to courts or other outsiders to do it for them. Participants in mediation have found that the process helps them feel heard, and increases their understanding of themselves and the other person as well.  Community Boards has handled thousands of cases in its 36 year history, and has helped 85% of those who use their mediation services reach a successful agreement.

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Did you see what she posted? Tips for Teenage Tiffs, Fights and Quarrels Online

browsing-15824_1280I am standing in the checkout line at a clothing store the other day when I overheard two teenage girls discussing a recent fight they had with another girl, “Emma” on social media. Apparently, Emma tweeted an ambiguous quote about being a bad friend, and one of the girls knew she was directing the comment at her, despite Emma not using her name, because of the pictures she had recently posted with a boy Emma use to date. The other girl responded that Emma always puts stuff online but won’t ever say things to your face. The girl who was offended by Emma’s ambiguous quote responded, ” Yeah I know, I am seriously about to unfriend her...”

The interaction between these two girls brought up several concerns for how teens interact online.

The first concern is jumping to conclusions about what you read online. The two girls had no idea whether Emma was talking about them or not when she posted the quote. The girl assumed it was about her and rather than asking Emma directly; she jumped to conclusions.

The second concern piggybacks off the first. One girl stated, “Emma always does this stuff online but won’t say things to your face.” Again, there isn’t direct communication to check out those assumptions. On one side of the coin, the internet and social media gives people who are shy, introverted or even conflict averse, a voice. This can be good. On this other side of the coin it can be bad. This leads to my 3rd concern.

My third concern with this interaction is that without any dialogue between Emma and the girl who is offended, Emma is willing to “unfriend” her and end their friendship. The public nature of social media and the peer pressure to take action not only leads to false conclusions but hurt feelings, misunderstood intentions, and unnecessary conflict.

An article by Amanda Lenhart from Pew Research Center highlights some interesting statistics regarding social media, conflict and friendships. Lenhart shares, “About one-in-four teens (26%) have fought with a friend because of something that first happened online or because of a text message.” Another statistic Lenhart expounds, “58% of teens who are on social media or have a cell phone have unfriended or unfollowed someone that they used be friends with.”

Technology brings a lot of good to the world, but the conflict I overheard is a part of the bad it brings. The conflict discussed brings up a concern for the rising adolescent generation who have never known the world without cell phones and the internet. The majority of teen’s interactions appears to be in these two forums. Consider this. When vague comments set you off, or you view a picture online that stirs up drama, or you are unfriending anyone you are in conflict with, what will come of that relationship? If you were on the receiving end of being unfriended or unliked, how would you have preferred that friend to have handled the situation?

The best advice: Go offline; Put Down the Phone; and Have a Face – To -Face Conversation.

I am not suggesting remove yourself from social media and completely go off the grid, which for many of you teenagers would experience as a form of torture. However, we see information online and jump to conclusions; take what you read and see it at face value. It is important to remember that you have more confidence to say whatever you think and feel online and in text than face – to – face. The ending of a friendship online does not resolve the conflict offline. Just because you can no longer see your friend’s statuses, tweets, or photos doesn’t mean you don’t see them in person and still have to deal with the perceived conflict.

Quick tips:

* People are more willing to talk openly with you when you are one – on- one. Pull the person aside privately and directly ask if you have done something to offend them. Simply ask “I saw a post and wanted to know, have I done something to make you upset?”

* Raising a conflict face-to-face makes many people uneasy. After the initial inquiry, regardless of whether the post was about you or not, then simply state,” I just wanted to make sure so we could clear the air.”

* Don’t be so quick to unfriend/unfollow. It is a nice feature to have at the click of a button, but impulsively severing friendships can cause more damage and be harder to repair.

Technology and social networks have connected everyone in so many amazing ways. It has also changed how we communicate, interpret and interact creating positive and negative impacts.

 

Abigail R. C. McManus M.S Negotiation and Conflict Management

Apprentice

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