Carol Barkes, CPM, MBA, is a conflict resolution expert, mediator, national speaker, educator and bestselling author who uniquely applies neuroscience to the fields of conflict resolution and negotiations. Her expert perspective is always fresh and relevant.
Healing the Nation Based on Conflict Resolution Concepts:
We have long had the thought that our capital and institution was safe from Americans but perhaps not from foreign entities. Today, we have found this not to be true and it makes us a perfect target for foreign enemies to sit back and watch us self-distrust from the inside out. This would make our forefathers roll over in their graves. We believe in the premise of United We Stand and yet we are now far from united. How can we make a better world as we fight against our brothers and sisters?
What We Know About Protests
1) Protests can be effective. Protests have long been a way of progress in the United States. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. However, Rosa didn’t make her stand by violence or by hurting others, but by exerting her right to fairness.
2) Fairness is something deeply rooted in our human being. We respond to fairness and we want to see it occur. It can bring us together. However, when one group’s preferences extend beyond the boundaries of decency, the fairness this group may be seeking can be lost in the mere acts of their unfairness.
4) Extreme methods are counterintuitive. What these extreme methods of protest do is create ingroups and outgroups. By their nature, they cannot join forces as it is not safe to do so, and neither party can actually invite in the other group. In short, the hostile nature of the protest prevents, rather than promotes, the success of their goals.
Solutions: How We Can Move Forward
1) Peace begins with us. As individual citizens, we may not be able to change the world or county, but we CAN change those next to us. Peace can begin with a ripple. We may not be able to hug each other, but we can smile. We can be kind. We can spread love. NO MATTER WHAT.”
2) Find commonalities. We can stop talking about our opposing opinions and really put in effort to understand opinions different than our own. We will likely find, we have more commonalities than we might imagine.
3) Gather the truth. Know a lot of what scares everyone is the unknown. When we do not have all the information, our brains go to a negative place. Thus, we can make issues much more dire than they may be.
4) Keep social media in the proper perspective. Remember, social media is a wonderful way to share information and yet that information is not necessarily true and it is not necessarily helpful. In years gone by, we had a saying, “You cannot judge a book by its cover.” Likewise, you cannot and should not believe everything you see online. Yes, there are fantastic producers and compelling content, but it isn’t necessarily true.
Interview: Carol Barkes
Carol Barkes, CPM, MBA, is a trend-setting mediator, business executive and educator specializing in the use of neuroscience to improve business performance, interpersonal communications, negotiation and conflict resolution processes for optimally successful results. She is also a speaker, educator, and author of the bestselling book: Success Breakthroughs: Leading Entrepreneurs and Professionals Reveal Their Secrets for Breaking Through to Success.
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