Lynn and I recently completed another series of classes on Thorny Conversations. We taught it as part of the adult education program sponsored by Osher at Dartmouth College. Once again the folks in the class came from a variety of backgrounds but shared the same interest: How to have a thorny, or sensitive, conversation with either a loved one, a business associate, family members associated with a family business, or a prickly friend, to name a few examples. Lynn and I were pleased with how participants in the class energetically engaged in discussions and shared their experiences.
As usual Lynn and I did role plays but this time we tried a new technique where we had the class become our conflict coaches. It was not only instructional but also much fun. An additional highlight of the series was the last session when one student volunteered to role play a thorny situation in which they were involved. As the class coached the student it was wonderful to hear how the practices Lynn and I had been explaining in the previous weeks were applied. Stay tuned for the next time we offer the course — or contact us if you’d like us to provide a customized offering. Remember, conflict is neutral — it is what you you do with it that makes it either a negative or positive force. I offer a quote for your thoughts: “Peace rules the day, where reason rules the mind.” (Wilkie Collins, 1824-89)