When you were a child did you ever get caught in the middle of your parents fighting? Do you remember desperately wanting them to stop but felt totally helpless to make it stop? (Raise MY hand)
Do you ever feel scared or angry when you watch our political leaders get into fights and conflict that seem to have no solutions? (Raise MY hand)
I know that feeling well. Growing up, conflict terrified me. It's still scary, but I no longer feel helpless. I've learned that conflict can be the spark of creativity and change. Over the years, I've gained the tools to harness its potential.
Hello, I'm Duncan Autrey, I'm a conflict transformation catalyst, and I'm here to introduce you to the 'Facilitation and Conflict Transformation' course.
But first, Let's talk about Why This Matters:
We're facing critical and existential challenges, and the decisions we make today will impact generations into the future.
Meanwhile, Our national leaders are acting irresponsibly, and are seriously struggling to make any wise forward-thinking decisions.
Political division has corroded our communities and families, and the 2024 election poses a real threat to our national integrity.
According to a June 2023 Pew Center poll, theonly thingthat a majority of Republicans and Democrats agree on is that they are worried about the inability of Republicans and Democrats to agree on anything.
We absolutely cannot let our differences hinder our progress.
Especially when diversity is supposed to be our greatest strength.
Conflict is an opportunity to thrive, because it gives us a direct line into one another's hearts. It reveals what is important and what needs to change, and it is always gives us a chance to deepen our understanding of ourselves and others.
That is not always how I understood things.
I used to avoid conflict, like probably many of you. Then, motivated by the conflict all around me, I spent the past 25 years travelling around the world to . I got my masters in Interational Peace and Conflict, and I've trained and taught with the masters in the field, and I spent a lot of years in community mediation centers. My journey led me from Colombian hot zones and Ecuadorian border conflicts to corporate trainings and local PTA meetings.
Recently I've focused my efforts to align with my passion.
I can no longer tolerate bad communication about important issues.
So, I've focused on bringing my experience to bear on healing our democracy and Political crisis. .
I call my work the Omni-Win Project, and my goal is to share the tools and ideas that already exist to solve the crisis of our democracy and heal our political divisions, so that together we can co-create a future where everyone wins. I do this through training programs, collaborative democracy projects and a multi-media podcast/blog.
I am offering this course so that you can become a trusted and skillful leader in your community
I want you to be part of a network of skilled facilitators and conflict resolutionaries who are able to stand gracefully in the fire of conflict and support us all in finding a sustainable all-win future for our communities and nation.
Democracy is in trouble right now, and this is your chance to be part of the next generation of conflict transformation leaders who help us restore our national integrity.
Do you see how much we need this?
The 'Facilitation and Conflict Resolution' course
will teach you how to be comfortable and curious in the face of conflict.
You will learn how to transform diverse views into collective wisdom.
And you will gain lifelong skills that will improve both your relationships and your career.
These skills are the key to becoming a respected local steward, especially in turbulent political times.
Across six modules, we will progressively explore conflict at each level and dimension.
Modules will cover conflict across scales, from the individual and interpersonal to the group and national.
We'll talk about how to resolve conflicts and how to facilitate collaborative decision making.
And we'll talk about conflict both when you're on the inside and when you're on the outside.
There will be practical skill training and conceptual frameworks to give you a new lens on the world.
This course teaches, what we in the field call, interest-based facilitation and conflict resolution.
Let me explain:
Across history, disputes have been resolved using one of three methods: power, rights, and interests. Power-based approaches to conflict rely on war, violence, force, and/or hierarchy. In this winner-take-all approach, the most powerful are the "winner". Unfortunately, this ancient and popular approach often destroys relationships, and generates more problems than it resolves.
Rights-based processes resolve conflicts by deciding who is most "right" according to universal rules and laws. It’s an improvement from power, but also has significant limitations. Laws will never be able to encompass human complexity and, importantly they are often created by individuals with power.
The problem is both power and rights based approaches create winners and losers. This fosters division and is often the source of chronic conflict. They are only short-term fixes.
In contrast, interests-based conflict resolution fosters creative collaboration and problem-solving. It asks: “Why is this important to you?” PAUSE. This approach addresses conflicts at their core, and it looks to the long-term encouraging ongoing adaptation and personal growth. Importantly, by addressing what is most important to the people involved, it's always a win/win process.
All-Win solutions seems far from our current reality, would you agree?
The operative question is this: Can our political system transform itself without the ability to communicate and collaborate across differences?
I don't think so.
Our political leaders, our collective mothers and fathers, are fighting, and they aren't keeping their eyes on what’s important . We can't afford to let these disagreements distract us from what's important.
This course will move you from helplessness to empowerment.
This course is for you if you're tired of superficial discussions and ineffective arguments.
It's for you if you're ready to transcend partisanship and want have a major impact in bringing your community toward unity.
This course is NOT for you if you've got it all figured out, don't think you need to hear others' perspectives or have already given up hope .
Don't write this one off simply as "Soft skills"
First of all soft skills are "hard." They are hard won through lots of practice.
Secondly, these skills are essential to our survival.
The Complex problems we face absolutely require communication across diverse populations, and these "soft" skills are the only way to pull that off.
We need to break free of the illusion that we're in a struggle against each other, because the hard truth is in this game: We all win or we all lose.
This 'Facilitation and Conflict Transformation' course will change your life. You need this because it will improve your career and your relationships.
And we need you! This is the biggest and most important conflict in history.
I'm hoping that you will be part of the next generation of facilitators and conflict resolutionaries who are ready to stand in the fire of conflict and support us all in building the sustainable all-win democracy that we need.
If you believe this course is for you, get out your notebook write down this: "I want to learn how to facilitate and transform conflict."
and check me out at duncanautrey.com
I'll close this out with a definition of conflict from my mentor, Kenneth Cloke:
Conflict is the sound made by the cracks in a system that has outlived its usefulness. It's the voice of a new paradigm coming to replace it.
I trust you know the importance of this moment. I hope you'll join me so that together we can co-create the future of democracy .
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