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Behind “Leaning In”: Welcome to my new blog

  • Posted by: Ellen Kandell

What’s behind the title?

The title of this blog came to me when I was rowing one evening last week with the breast cancer survivor team, We Can RowDC, http://www.wecanrowdc.org/index.html. In a sweep boat, a rower is supposed to lean towards their rigger, which is the bracket that supports the oarlock. As we were returning to the dock with the sunset reflecting on the Potomac River, the coach called out from the launch, “lean towards your rigger”.

As a mediator and conflict resolution practitioner, http://www.acrnet.org/ ,when I’m working with clients I’m leaning in while facilitating a difficult conversation about important concerns, legal issues and problems people face. Leaning in is a posture that demonstrates active listening and engagement. As a facilitator for a strategic planning meeting or a board of directors meeting I lean in towards the participants to capture their responses to the critical questions which lie at the heart of the meeting’s purpose.

So my two passions, resolving conflict and rowing, come together in the blog title “Leaning In”.

Why now?

I’m approaching my 15th year in the ADR business, https://www.alternativeresolutions.net/. For the past three years I’ve written a regular monthly newsletter. My newsletter draws from some of the academic resources on conflict management and from my teaching experience. Many people have commented about how they enjoy reading it. But with my newsletter my reach is limited to my subscribers and those who check my archive, http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs059/1103963123696/archive/1108488277695.html.

Since conflict is a normal part of human discourse people often appreciate tips for dealing with tough situations. My newsletter contains practice tips and I intend to continue to share those tips with my blog readers. Below are a few to get started.

A few basic conflict tips

People who analyze conflict use the term triggering event to describe the initiation of the conflict. It’s helpful to identify the specific triggering event(s) that put the conflict ball into motion. Here are some other helpful tips when examining conflict:

  1. Recognize that conflict is an opportunity for change and growth
  2. Analyze how the conflict impacts you
  3. Make a plan for resolving it.
  4. Communicate with the other person
  5. Be open to another perspective

Please let me know what topics you’re interested in reading about or conflict dilemmas you’re struggling with.

Ellen F. Kandell is a certified professional mediator and attorney with over 30 years of public and private sector experience. She provides mediation, group facilitation and training to diverse, national clients. Get in touch with her via email, LinkedIn, Twitter, or give her a call at 301-588-5390.

©2013, Ellen F. Kandell

Author: Ellen Kandell

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