It may come as a surprise to some of you, but I do not enjoy conflict. I can handle myself just fine, and I can usually end up with a happy student/colleague/whomever, but I am a quivering mess before, during, and after the confrontation. Occasionally I even end up physically sick. Yet my boss is convinced I have great innate mediation skills and has sent me into battle a few times. So the last couple of years, my performance objectives for the year have included a request for some advanced training in conflict resolution and/or mediation skills.
This year my chance came up! So this week, from 8:30-5:00 every day, I am attending an intense and intensive workshop with 17 other diverse people. There's the school principal, the African nuns, the German journalist who flew in from Chad (Africa) two days ago, the community college staff, the lawyer, and lil old me, among others. We're covering definitions of conflict, types of conflict, negotiation, two days of mediation, and much much much more. I'll try to share some wisdom later this week.
Meanwhile, I've packed my purse with tums and am practicing my yoga breathing to keep the heart rate steady. Wish me luck.