By Reader Staff
In these polarized times – when politics and arguments divide the nation, communities and even families – how can we constructively deal with conflict?
That’s one of the ideas that will be explored on Thursday, July 13, when international mediator Kenneth Cloke gives a talk titled “A Conversation About Conflict,” 5:30-7 p.m. in the Columbia Bank Community Room in Sandpoint. His talk is free and open for all, sponsored by 88.5 KRFY Community Radio and Sandpoint Magazine.
Cloke, a part-year resident of Hope, is co-founder of Mediators Beyond Borders. He’s author of 10 books on conflict resolution and mediation, and his Center for Dispute Resolution has mediated disputes in countries and hotspots around the world, ranging from centuries-old sectarian conflicts between groups in the Middle East to more simple but often passionately held family conflicts.
“We all experience conflicts throughout our lives, but do not spend enough time figuring out what causes them, what they mean, and how to handle them better,” says Cloke. “Yet in recent years, much has been learned about conflict resolution, giving rise to new methods of communication, problem solving, mediation, collaborative negotiation, dialogue, restorative justice and similar techniques that can help us understand our conflicts better and become more skillful in the ways we handle them.”
His talk here will discuss mediation techniques that individuals and communities can apply to productively resolve conflicts.
Cloke will also be featured interviewee on the Wednesday, July 12, Morning Show on 88.5 KRFY. The show airs at 8 a.m.; a recorded podcast will also be available on the KRFY website at www.krfy.org.
“Mediation works on many levels,” Cloke observes. “It stops people from fighting, de-escalates their aggressive behaviors, initiates deep listening and dialogue, acknowledges and helps explain negative emotions, facilitates informal problem solving and collaborative negotiation, settles issues in dispute, resolves underlying issues that gave rise to the dispute, promotes forgiveness, encourages reconciliation and helps design preventative conflict resolution systems.”
The Columbia Bank talk venue is at 414 Church Street in downtown Sandpoint.