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Conflict Resolution Tips and Blog
lynne maureen hurdle, conflict resolution strategist

So You Disagree. Conflict From The Other Side

I have been doing a lot of listening lately. It is my response to the extreme discord in this country. I need to understand the views of people who are thinking differently from me on a lot of issues. But right now, I want to talk to those who are convinced that they have no interest in or no need for my services.

I have been listening to you and I want to see if I can capture what I have heard.

There is no use in trying to talk to the person or the people that you are in conflict with because they just don’t listen. You would rather avoid the issue and keep moving past it, because eventually it will go away or they will get tired and move on and you just won’t have to deal with it anymore. That’s good, because who wants to deal with conflict anyway? It’s messy and uncomfortable and really inconvenient. Like at work, just when a project is going along well… here comes that one co-worker who always has to throw some “ish” in the game. They are never satisfied and they have to let everyone know it. No one wants to deal with her. So you either shut her down or just walk away. It’s easier. Maybe it’s the team that you supervise. They don’t get along long enough to get the work done when it’s due. You just carry the bulk of the work because arguing is not your thing.

With your child… hey, you’re the parent. So you are the boss. You may not be able to make them get along all the time, but you can put them on punishment, yell to get heard or get out of the house for a little bit and let the chips fall where they may. It’s too much work to try to get everyone to get along and you certainly don’t want me to tell you what you are doing wrong (your words), because God knows it is not you who has the problem it’s them.

With your spouse, partner, love interest? Don’t get you started. They are impossible to talk to. They never listen and you don’t think they will ever change even though you are constantly telling them they need to.

lynne maureen hurdle, conflict resolution strategistSo to let you know that I am listening, let me tell you that I agree with you. You should not work with me. You should work with someone who will teach you some techniques to use that don’t require the challenging work of going within and finding out all of the things that you bring to the table when conflicts arise. You should work with someone who will give you some quick tips on listening and not ask you to evaluate your listening skills and the effect they have on others in your life. You should go with someone who will help you look at conflict on a surface level without requiring you to go deep into your feelings, deeply rooted beliefs and cultural norms.

I ask a lot of my clients and if I have been listening, I mean deeply listening to you, I am not who you want.

3 Ways I Use My Conflict Resolution Skills In My Parenting: A Homegrown Conflict Resolutionista Speaks

My life’s journey has allowed me to teach conflict resolution and leadership skills to teens for over 25 years. One of the outcomes that I envisioned so many years ago was to have these teens grow up and use these skills to educate others. I am blessed to still be in connection with so many young people who are doing just that.

Today, I am spotlighting one of them.

Melissa Velasquez found one of my Today’s Parenting Tips on Facebook and shared it in one of her blog posts. I was not only grateful but excited to find out what she is up to in the world. We shared a wonderful conversation about mommy-hood, blogging and conflict resolution.

Actually, we went all over the place with this conversation. Melissa was raised from teenage years on the skills of conflict resolution. She is what I call Homegrown. She was a prominent figure in an incredible organization called E.A.R.S., Effective Alternatives in Reconciliation Services.


She ventured into the world of blogging in order to lend a voice to the single moms out there.

 
As a single mom of three year old Misa, she wanted to provide hope, pride, direction, tips, advice and truth. She wanted to see if someone could get something good from her words. I certainly did. I am sharing three ways that she uses her skills of conflict resolution in her parenting in order to feature a younger voice who developed expertise early in her life.

Below are her answers to some pointed questions and my take on her responses.
 
1. What is on your playlist these days?

“I am so careful about the messages Misa takes in. What’s on my playlist is ABC by The Jackson Five.”

Being careful about what our children hear can be challenging. Being prepared to talk with them about what they hear when they go other places is important. Listening to their questions and being willing and ready to give them honest, age appropriate answers is part of the way she parents.
 

conflict-resolution-with-melissa-velasquez2. What do you do as a parent that you feel breaks culture?

“By the way that I discipline. She will never hear me threaten to hit her. By also letting her have a voice.”

Allowing children to have a voice can mean that they may take a long time to decide things, for instance what they want to wear in the morning as Melissa has experienced. However, they learn how to make decisions. It is also not easy to break culture. You really need to stand tall in that and use your communication skills, something both Melissa and I know something about.
 

3. What is a big mistake that you learned from?

“Being triggered. We had someplace to go and we were going to be late. I do not like to be late. It is programmed in me from E.A.R.S. She started yelling and screaming and really losing it. Nothing I was trying worked. So I really lost it and she heard me say a bad word. I had to apologize to her later.”

It didn’t end up being completely resolved in this big happy ending for them, but they were able to get through it and attend the event. The lesson learned was about taking a minute to notice that you are being triggered and to try to calm yourself down. But if that doesn’t happen, then an apology is important to your child. It is something that I teach about often.


Young voices need to be heard. They can really add something to the conversation.

 
Both Melissa and I agree that there is too much division in the parenting world. We have much more to gain by coming together.
 

conflict-resolution-parenting-with-melissa-velasquezFeel free to connect with Melissa on:

Her Blog: www.justabxmom.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/justabxmom

Instagram, Twitter & Snapchat: @justabxmom
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Need for Flood Pressure Checks is On the Rise

Right now, I live in an NBA household and it is playoff season. My oldest son is a longtime diehard fan of The Golden State Warriors. They have had some exciting, history-making and frustrating times this season not the least of which are those moments presented to us by forward, Draymond Green. In Game 3 of the Conference Finals, Green kicked Oklahoma City Thunder player Steven Adams in the groin while getting a shot off. Also, in a more recent game while attempting a baby hook over 6 foot 4 Oklahoma City guard, Russell Westbrook, he kicked him near his chin. Here’s a man in need of a Flood Pressure Check.

While politics has always been messy and passionate, the current political climate has brought out the worst in many people including the candidates. Just the mention of Donald Trump’s name sends people into an emotional frenzy. Hillary Clinton and the Clinton legacy leave behind their own emotional carnage. Emotional flooding is happening on a level of epic proportions. It’s time for a national Flood Pressure Check.

How To Check Your Flood Pressure

I’m sure we all had our blood pressure checked. I hope we have… if not, please get it checked regularly. Flood Pressure Checks are very similar. Just like blood pressure there are two numbers involved. In order to do a Flood Pressure Check, you need to reflect on a situation where you were emotionally flooded and give yourself a number that would reflect the extent of that flooding. Your number should be from 1 – 200. However, thanks to the suggestion of Mia who attended my most recent conflict resolution workshop, I will add that if you are from a culture where your starting point in any conflict is highly emotional, then your starting number might be 200 and range up to 400. Yes, emotional expression and conflict are definitely cultural.

The Numbers Game

This is your high number. Now you must assign yourself a lower number. Your low number represents how conscious you were of knowing that you did not want to be as emotionally flooded as you were and did not want to react in the situation the way that you did. This should be a number from 1 – 200. The point of a Flood Pressure Check is to begin to assess the work that you need to do to become conscious of your emotional reactions quickly enough to do something about them. If there is a large gap between your high number and your low number then your goal is to close that gap by bringing your high number down (flooding and reacting less) and your low number up (being conscious of emotions beginning to flood you and not reacting).

The goal is to close the gap between reacting and responding.

Here are 3 tips For lowering your Flood Pressure.
 
1. Have A Stress Release System

When your body is flooded with stress hormones, your brain’s function is to protect you and go in to fight or flight mode. There is little to no access to conscious decision-making. Having a regular method for releasing stress in your life that you can put in place when conflict happens is crucial in changing your Flood Pressure numbers.

2. Take Advantage of Your Down Time

When you are no longer in a heightened emotional state, don’t let that be the end of the situation. Take the time to reflect on your reaction and where you think that reaction came from. Ask yourself: What words or actions triggered me? What in my past could be responsible for setting this as an emotional trigger for me?

3. Start On An Emotional Escape Plan

Without judgement of yourself, start to develop a plan for addressing it. In developing your plan, ask yourself the following questions: Do I need more skills in managing my emotions, resolving conflict and releasing stress? Do I need a calming phrase or a word to remind me to become more conscious of when I am being triggered? What work do I need to do if I want to release myself from this trigger?

As you put these tips in to action, you will begin to see your Flood Pressure numbers change and your relationships strengthen.

lynne's giftShoutout to Aldeen who took 4 days of training with me and immediately began to put the techniques and strategies to action in her life. She had such success that her family noticed right away. I am blessed to have this t-shirt made by her son and given to me from her family as a thank you! THANK YOU FAMILY!

If you want to learn to lower your Flood Pressure in a powerful one-on-one consultation with me, I have a few spots available this month. CLICK HERE to Sign up Now.
 

Exciting News!

The 5 Things You Should Never Do If You Want Your Child To Listen To You Free Webinar was such a SUCCESS… I am doing Part Two on June 14th!

It’s called: 5 Ways to Stop Fear From Being The Loudest Voice In Your Household.
Register for this FREE Powerful Webinar today at theconflictcloser.com/stopfear

parenting

Parenting: The Conflict Between New School vs Old School

This afternoon I was working hard on all of the tasks that are building my master brand. I’m a little different than most people, because I like to work in silence. So when I hear the sounds of young people on the basketball courts, I let it in not as a distraction but rather as a pleasant sound. Young people doing something positive. My own sons played on those courts for years and I am sure I know some of the teens out there.

I continue with my work until I hear a beat… a hip hop beat. Uh oh, I start boppin’ my head until…

I am assaulted by the most disgusting lyrics and cuss words pumping loud from the courts. There are buildings with terraces and windows that sit and look out on the courts and elders of all races walking on the streets shaking their heads in disgust or holding their ears. Song after song plays seemingly without any one of the teens caring about what is blasting through our neighborhood.

I can hear my old school parents now. “If these kids had old school parents this would not be happening. They’d get their behinds beat. All of this listening for feelings and allowing them to express every little thing that is on their minds is ruining the power of parents and their authority. Too many teens are disrespectful to adults because we are so busy trying to be their friend with this new school “talking to them crap.” What are we teaching them by listening to them? They need to be listening to us!”

Now if you remember, I am new school with an old school chaser when it comes to parenting. I can ask open questions and validate feelings in a heartbeat. But if that’s not working and they choose to get out of hand, I can do “The Look” with the best of them! I’m a Black Mom. “The Look” is mandatory in my culture. You know what I’m talkin’ about. That expression you throw them that says in my case, “Did you just lose your mind? Don’t even think about doing that again!” Oh and I’ve got some old school phrases lurking around in my tool box too. You know like, “because I said so that’s why” or “Because I’m your Mom, END OF DISCUSSION!”

There are a lot of conversations online, in print and in person about new school vs old school parenting. Steve Harvey had a whole panel of folks on his show recently fighting it out to get the audience to side with them. I don’t have a side but I do have a view.
 

I hear underneath the loud voices and the condemnation of each other and ultimately I know we want the same things.

 

Parenting-love
 

RESPECT

Whatever camp you fall into, this is a high priority. Parents of both schools of thought want their children to respect themselves, adults and their peers. The place where these two camps differ I attribute to cultural norms and differences. Whenever respect hits the board in any of my workshops, I always get the “Amen nod.” Everyone agrees that it is important but the thing that we forget or honestly just don’t know is that…
 

While some ways of showing respect are similar it can differ from culture to culture.

 

So it is with these two parenting cultures. Old school norms say adults are to be respected by children simply because they have earned that right by reaching adulthood. New school is more likely to subscribe to the thought that adults need to earn the respect of children by how they treat them just as children need to earn the respect of adults.
 

FEAR

Parents in both groups fear for their children’s safety.
 

So many of us react based on fear rather than respond out of conscious thought.

 

Fear in particular is a strong motivator in African American and Latino homes where old school tends to dominate and with good reason. Our children are in danger from both racism and internalized oppression on top of the other societal dangers that all parents fear.
 

LOVE

No matter what school of thought they come from, parents love their children. I know that from the groups I have worked with.
 

It is out of love that parents use the techniques they use to discipline, guide, teach and protect them.

 

Love is the reason that new school often allows a longer discussion and old school decides there is no discussion on this. Both love their children enough to shape their development in their own way.

I am fortunate to work with parents period… no matter where they rest in this debate. The truth is that there are a myriad of reasons why too many of our young people are engaging in behaviors that adults find disrespectful, but neither of these camps shoulder that responsibility. As parents, we need to listen to and support each other because this journey is too important to be at odds.
 

In my eyes, there is no conflict between old school and new school because when it comes to parenting, it’s ALL school.

 

What kind of parent are you or what kind of parents were your parents? I want to hear from you.

No matter where you fall in this we all need help. I am offering help in my interactive webinar The Five Things You Should Never Do If You Want Your Kids to Listen to You on Thursday May 19, 2016 at 8:00pm EDT. Be sure to look for my email announcement with the details, coming your way next week.

Lynne Maureen Hurdle, Conflict Resolution Specialist

Daily News Article “Mommy Help Me.” My Response: How to Beat Your Kids Without Putting Your Hands On Them

BREATHE. EXAMINE. ACCESS. TRY IT. B.E.A.T.
 
 
According to a N.Y. Daily News article, a five year old boy “tried to punch another kid and wound up spitting on a classmate.” His mother was told by school administrators he would either take a paddling or get suspended. The Mom secretly recorded the paddling and posted to social media, warning to schools the new style media is always watching. School district officials in Georgia where this took place are investigating but did want folks to know that “corporal punishment” is allowed in the district. Sounds like some “Old School” rules that folks in schools can fall back on if they want to. As a Mom who parents “new school with an old school chaser,” I know that changing the way you discipline takes more than just the notion of doing things differently, it takes hard work and skills.
 
We are naturally inclined to do what was done to us especially during times of stress, because truthfully it’s the thing that is most accessible. When children do things that we have taken on as stressful or unacceptable whether we want to or not in that moment, we most often become our parents or whoever the authority figures were in our lives. In order to change, we have to see it coming and prepare ourselves to respond consciously.
 
We have to learn how to B.E.A.T. our kids.
 
 
BREATHE
 
One of the most underrated things on the planet is the power of breathing correctly. We have all heard about taking a breath when we are angry but that is less about the power of the breath and more about stopping for a minute which is also important. The administrators in this situation needed to give themselves time to process their own feelings in order to be fully present enough to take the right next step. Breathing correctly has the power to really shift the situation you are dealing with.
 
First, you need to focus on your breathing, be aware of whether it is fast or slow or even.
 

Be aware but do not judge, just notice it first.

 

Our breath is constant which means unless we are dead we are always breathing. So it is the perfect thing to focus on because we can always find it. The very fact that we are choosing to focus on it brings us into the present. We need to take five second belly breaths in and out for five seconds to release the stress.
 
 
EXAMINE
 
When we operate out of what we think we know, we don’t listen past what we want to respond to or want to shut down. If we take the time to commit to examine what has happened and what the child is saying to us, we can ask questions that help us understand their thinking, their reasoning (even if we think there couldn’t possibly be any good reason for what they did) and ask their ideas for correcting the situation. Even as a five year old, this child could have benefitted from this approach. Having his mother be a part of this discussion could have modeled for her skills that she can use at home.
 


One major purpose for examining things is to discover what is leading you.

 

Is it fear or rules that were good enough for your school administrators or your parents and your culture so they are good enough for your children? Or is it that you are just plain tired or fed-up? Thinking that, “I don’t need a reason because I’m the adult in the situation” is not going to work enough times to establish a connection where the child views you as someone they can talk to and learn conflict resolution skills from.
 
 
ACCESS
 
What you are going for is accessing conscious choice and not reacting in the moment from a place that is not honoring your desire to make the best choice you can in this situation. Do you have other tools alongside the old school ways? Do the old school ways make sense here or is it just fear, anger, a power move and a need to reach for what’s been comfortable for you and the culture? You should decide that from a conscious place.
 
What skills did those administrators have access to that could let that child see that conflict and responding well to it is a part of growing up and learning?
 


In moments like this, as parents and adults in authority, we need to ask ourselves what skills can we access that allow for some sharing on our part of experience, mistakes we’ve made and the desire to talk this through?

 

What will you model for your child that you want them to use in the future?
 
 
TRY IT
 
The next step is to try something. What conflict resolution skills do these administrators have that would have allowed this child to think about how he reacted and what lessons are important to learn from this experience?
 

Once this was done, they could have thought clearly about what consequences were necessary and how they could help this child learn new ways to handle future conflicts.

 

The truth is discipline can be about doing it the way that it has always been done because it is easier to shut it down than to hear about every situation. Believe me, there are days when I feel like I just don’t have the energy to go new school, but most days I do.
 
I wish the administrators and the Mom had known how to B.E.A.T. this child.
 
 
 
LHP 17-74pxLynne Maureen Hurdle is the Conflict Closer, facilitator, speaker, coach, wife and mom who blends the connection between conflict and culture into her unique style of engagement. At the age of 17, she experienced a racial bias incident where she was able to escape with her life and limbs intact. She also came away with a clear knowing that somehow she had to be able to do the work of connecting people around these issues and find ways to help resolve them.