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Conflict Resolution Tips and Blog

The Conflict that Resides Within A Question. Are You Ready For the Answer?

How far would you go to get an answer to your one burning question?

Daryl Davis traveled to the very people that hate him. What kind of courage does it take to ask a sibling that is gravely ill to increase her pain by healing the old wounds that have created lasting conflict between the two of you? Elizabeth Lesser exhibited that kind of raw courage when she chose to become a bone marrow donor for her sister.

These are the kinds of conflict that challenge so much of what we think and believe. They push us to look at our own capacity for facing and resolving conflict.

Daryl DavisAt the young age of 10, Daryl Davis was cruelly attacked while marching in a Cub Scout parade. As the only black face in the parade, he was offensive to many white adults in the crowd and their reactions were to throw bottles, cans and whatever they could find at him. When he returned home and his parents explained racism to him, he held both disbelief and curiosity. His question, “how can you hate me when you don’t even know me,” would lead him to the depths of hatred, the Ku Klux Klan.

elizabeth-lesserElizabeth Lesser found the answer to her question a lot closer to home. When her sister was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, Elizabeth was a match as a bone marrow donor. The painful transplant process was only half of the challenge that Elizabeth and her sister took on. The deeper and in some ways more painful journey came in asking the question, “if we are really talking about healing can we start with the old wounds of our relationship?” That kind of conflict resolution requires deep commitment to surfacing, examining and healing what is holding you back from moving forward in your relationship.

The opportunity to sit with Daryl and Elizabeth and delve into the raw, honest truth about their experiences opened the door to my own thoughts and a desire to engage in the work of learning how to live my life on the highest level possible.

I believe that the times are requiring that of each of us. We can no longer avoid the conflicts that are ripping our homes, places of businesses, communities, the nation and world apart. Learning to resolve conflict one meaningful response at a time is no longer a request, but rather a demand that our world is placing on us.

Are you ready?

Join me for the Soul of Conflict Tele-Summit: Healing Old Wounds to hear the rest of their compelling stories and so many more.

Let’s do the work of forward together. Go to:


Racism and Those Three Fatal Words

“I’m going to speak my mind. If they have the right to tell me all the things I’m doing wrong then I have the right to do the same to them!”
Long pause from me.
Certainly, any of us who are raising and/or regularly interacting with teenagers have heard these words or something similar. 14 about to be 15 year olds try on this sense of bravado at least once when challenged by an authority figure in their lives. Intellectually I know this, but as a Black mother, the long pause on my part is indicative of a reaction that is about to come from someplace other than my head.
I was raised by a Black mom who like many other Black moms at the time would have Shut That Conversation Down! “You don’t talk back to adults, you will not be disrespectful to any adult and you most certainly will not Act the Fool in front of White folk!” While this cultural stronghold is innate in me, this is not the reason for my long pause.
As a woman whose journey inside herself has included examining the cultural norms of my racial and ethnic identity, I’ve visited the cultural logic and necessity for this popular refrain. In my desire to examine who I have become and who I really am as a woman, but in particular as a parent…

I’ve looked at the intent and meaning of the parenting cultural norms that shaped me and found that my culture is expandable enough to fit the Black mom that I am choosing to be.

So when that familiar refrain rises up in me and threatens to take the breath out of me, I acknowledge the space that it came from, breathe it out and put it to the side. Though it takes a minute, that is not the reason for my long pause.
racism-lynne-maureen-hurdleMy oldest son went from elementary through high school without much incident. He had his own academic struggles and year of personal upset but he rolled with the punches and bounced back without feeling the need to vent to anyone but his dad and I. When it comes to what others think of him, he is his grandfather, my Dad. He is unapologetic about the love and pride he has for himself and nothing changes that for him. He therefore sees no need to respond to any shade anyone throws at him.
My 14 about to be 15 year old son came to us as a baby fully aware of every nuance of human behavior. He could sit quietly observing everyone in the room for hours. As a toddler, he made it very clear from his own expressions that he was not always certain why we were in charge. He was perfectly convinced that he was the one that knew himself best and that we, though loving were not necessarily best suited to run the show. As a teenager, he still lives his life with the intention to be true to who he is every day. He wears his heart on his sleeve and takes note of any raised eyebrow, disgusted sigh, tone of voice or sarcastic remark.
Being shut down from my childhood through teen years left me unable as an adult to speak up against those who had no regard for my feelings. So when I hear these words “I’m going to speak my mind. If they have the right to tell me all the things I’m doing wrong then I have the right to do the same to them,” my heart speaks, “Yes that’s right, PUSH BACK! Adults can’t disregard your thoughts and feelings and then demand that you ALWAYS respect theirs. You have great conflict resolution skills and you know how to use them!”
And then BLACK MOM FEAR SCREAMS!!!! “You can’t let him do that. In a predominantly White institution he will be labeled as a trouble-maker. He will be written up, tracked, labeled, dismissed, given up on. He will be thrown into the pile of black boys who just don’t give a damn, who have parents who cannot “control” them.”
And the war inside me begins.
However, it is such an important part of who he is and a powerful way to walk in the world. But what if he encounters the wrong police officer and pushes back? But NO… what a great trait to have when he encounters a rejection in the business world and pushes back.

How do I encourage and fully develop an asset in my son that shows up as a deficit to the eyes of a world dominated by institutions built on inherent racism?

Yes, this is all going on inside of me and THIS is the reason for the long pause.
I decide that he must speak up, own his part in this conflict and then be clear about the behavior on their part that requires him to push back. “I will go with you for support, but you should speak.” “No Mom. I won’t go because what I know is passion will be heard as disrespect.”
And then those three fatal words. It always is… “Sigh.”
That dreadful sigh that I have heard too many times for too many decades from too many Black boys who have been made to realize that this is how too many people in their everyday lives see them.
What conversations are you having about Race in your life?
Lynne Maureen Hurdle is committed to having conversations on race and is authoring her first book on Parenting and Culture.

resolutions for 2016

4 Resolutions for 2016 from a Conflict Resolution Strategist

Lynne Maureen Hurdle - Conflict Resolution Strategist

Lynne Maureen Hurdle – Conflict Resolution Strategist

I no longer make resolutions. I help other people with their Conflict Resolutions. As a woman who has spent the predominance of her life caught up in the endless cycle of dieting and body shaming, I spent way too many new years making resolutions and then breaking them before the year had time to settle. This is not to knock anyone’s resolutions but to come to grips with my own journey.
So if I’m no longer making resolutions then why do I have 4 Resolutions for 2016?
So far I’ve spent 2016 working hard on God, family, self and business, which has kept my schedule full. I have also found myself in deep prayer and contemplation about the state of this country and the world.

It is from this space that I commit myself to being a vocal, visible and viable source of activism in the conflicts that I feel are imperative to find Resolutions for as a society.
1. Racism

As an African American mother raising two African American sons along with my African American husband in a country where their safety can be endangered based on the color of their skin…

It is no longer enough to simply speak out and post elegantly phrased protests on Facebook.

I must find ways to do the deeper work of helping us as a country have the difficult conversations about Race.
2. Parenting

Being a parent has always been challenging. With the changes in society in just the last twenty years, it seems like so many of the hundreds of parents that I meet are struggling more than they ever imagined. Stress, technology, learning disabilities, education, social media, nutrition, the environment and I haven’t even gotten to hormones; the list goes on, all contributing factors to the myriad feelings expressed by parents.

We are all searching in our own way to be the best parents we can be given our own unique situations while trying to also Enjoy The Ride!

I know I have many things to contribute to resolving the conflicts presented by parenting and I intend to get them out to the world in a BIG way in 2016.
3. Self-Love

My friend and colleague, Dr. Lindamichelle Baron walks into any room and brings the sun, moon and the stars. She is in love with herself in the grandest way, so much so that it seems to make others blush and long for that kind of love in their own lives. That good, healthy “I know who I am” kind of love.

It is the lack of this love that is at the root of so many of the conflicts we see in our lives and in the world.

It is not easy to do the work of unlearning negative self-talk, stereotypes, harmful habits and difficult truths that live deep within us, but we MUST in order to be powerful in our own lives. I intend to do the work on myself and with as many people that call upon me to help them.
4. Deep Listening and Meaningful Response

With so much hurt, pain and conflict in the world, how can any one of us really make an impact? Where do we begin? Begin with listening to the conversations that you don’t want to listen to, you know the ones that are too painful, too idiotic, too sexist, too racist or too annoying. Or the ones you don’t think you have time for or have any common ground on. We all have them in our lives.

Engage by just listening and suspending judgment. Listen to understand, not to be right or to win.

I’m committed to this kind of listening and to give a meaningful response even if it’s just, “thank you for helping me understand your view better.”
I’m committed. What about you? What are you working on for 2016 that will bring deep change into your life or into the world?