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  • Writer's pictureKirsten Johnson

Our Normalizing Conflict ToolKit

Understanding the conflicts we find ourselves in enables us to avoid causing harm or to address the harm we have caused. Many of us have not been given the opportunity to build the muscles needed to engage constructively in conflict.

Below is a list of the tools we have found valuable as we’ve worked to build capacity to navigate conflict.

Understanding Conflict - Michelle LeBaron & Beth Zemsky

We have found the framework for understanding that conflict can be symbolic, relational or material a powerful tool in our work to make meaning of the conflicts we find ourselves in and bring intentionality to our approaches to resolve those conflicts. We first learned this framework from Beth Zemsky at the Facilitating Cultural Change workshop.

You can watch a video where we describe this framework here:

AMB provides a powerful reality check that not everything is conflict. She brilliantly outlines the many states of breakdown we can find ourselves in as we seek to work together to advance justice. She provides concrete ideas for how to center people’s humanity as we work through the messiness and repair harm.

When we need to let someone know that their behavior is having a negative impact or causing harm, this is a powerful tool to help us approach communicating with clarity and inviting dialogue that moves us toward greater understanding.

Simple rules are in place in every organization. They shape the conditions that characterize the dominant patterns of the organization’s culture. Intentionally co-creating Simple Rules can be a powerful strategy to cultivate a culture that leans into conflict and fosters belonging and trust.

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