The Power of Conflict for Building Connection and Community

Date:

Thursday, May 19, 2016 – 1:00pm2:15pm
Registration:

To participate, register online and you will receive contact info via email.

Once you have registered you can explore these other call-in options.

Description: If you cannot work with conflict, then you probably cannot create a sustainable town. Conflict is one of the most essential sustainability skills, and will serve you in every walk of life. When you’re in conflict, do you want to fight, flee, or freeze? Do you ever wish there could be a better way? Something that uses conflict to strengthen relationships instead of damaging them?
Most of us were brought up to either ignore conflict, or go in swinging, determined to “win”. As we grew older we may have learned ways to suppress or avoid conflict, or even a few tricks for managing others when they’re upset, in order to reduce emotional intensity. But ignoring or “managing” conflict tends to cause it to go underground, boiling up in tense meetings or undermining team projects.
What if conflict were a secret ally? What if it’s a guidepost, showing us what really matters to us, and how much we care? What if our intense emotions are sources of invincible energy, with the power to build the world we want, together?
People are complex creatures. We think and act in different ways. We live under different levels of stress and oppression, and carry different wounding with different triggers. And we care more or less strongly about different things, have different degrees of self-awareness, and communicate in more ways than anyone can count.
Those of us working to build a more resilient world need to be able to work well with each other in our neighborhoods, nonprofits, Transition initiatives, families, and workplaces. We need to build bridges even when communication is breaking down or tension seems unbearable. We need to be able to use conflict — maybe even welcome it, for its power to bring to the surface what’s really at stake, and to unite people toward a common goal.
But how? What can we do to reduce the chances of conflict arising in the first place? And what does having conflict in a healthy and transformative way really look like?

Join three practitioners from the Fellowship for Intentional Community, Gaia Education, and the Rocky Mountain Institute as they relay tips, tools and resources on how to reduce painful conflict and instead use conflict creatively to build connection and community.

See the website for more information.

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