When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.
- African Proverb
what is conflict?
If the world is constantly impacted by problems or conflict, then living a solution-oriented life is a daily process.
The Carter Development Group defines problems as a set of circumstances that create a temporary roadblock or challenge to achieving a goal. Problems, no matter the scope or breadth, also occurs when the objectives, methods, or attitudes of individuals or groups do not align within the relationship they have with others or themselves. Some problems are more intricate than others and require several layers of solutions to arrive at the alignment between parties. Note that problems do not necessarily indicate a conflict. I define conflict as the use of the problem as a gateway to demonstrate disparaging or prejudice attitudes and behaviors toward others who share diverse perspectives. In using this definition, conflict occurs when individuals negatively use their vector of diversity as a basis for responding to a problem. While we may all encounter problems on a daily basis, the disposition of heart in approaching the solution to the problem determines whether or not it is a conflict.
We will always find conflict whenever the individual’s disposition of the heart is not aligned to inclusion, multicultural appreciation, mentorship, conflict resolution, and relationship building.
Problems and conflicts, which lead to both minor and major injustices (discommunity building), mean that the interaction between human beings is no longer in alignment with the same goals, objectives, methods, and attitude. At this juncture, renewal, or revolution, or movement back to a regulated balance or equilibrium of peace, understanding, and inclusion needs to reoccur. This is why the emergence of the rightness of person, place, and time is so critical in the 21st century. Having an inclusive community-building attitude is the difference-maker. Your emergence happens over time, circumstance by circumstance. Yet, in each situation, there is an opportunity to emerge as an Ellison Model agent with the right attitude. You may not physically see immediate results in your sphere of influence. However, maintaining the right
When individuals who are internally conflicted come together in a group setting, the inevitable outcome is more conflict. Conflict may not only occur between members of the group, but decisions that are made out of a state of conflict will ostracize others who are not in the personal interest of the group members. For example, in the corporate setting of higher education, staff members from multiple student affairs and academic affairs’ departments meet to coordinate the commencement ceremony.
Group facilitation provides an opportunity for individuals, corporations, and organizations to manage or resolve conflict in a safe environment. Facilitative dialogue is a participatory process and is often effective at empowering all parties in reaching mutually agreeable solutions.
The kaleidoscope of diversity in organizations and the workplace inevitably breathe conflict, making conflict resolution training a necessity to provide techniques for identifying, managing, and understanding the negative effects of unresolved conflict. This training utilizes the strength of The Ellison Model to assist trainees to see conflict resolution as a unitary process and a community-building necessity.