Welcome to Conflict Remedy, Journey to the Heart of Communication. I am a certified conflict management coach, a mediator, a forgiveness coach, trainer, and facilitator. I specialize in workplaces/organizational conflict and communication skills, bullying issues, and forgiveness.
Through my blog (see below), I share ideas and stories to help you transform and heal your challenging communications. Click the tabs above to learn more about me, my services, and trainings. I appreciate your comments and subscriptions (see sidebar) and am always happy to talk to you about how my work could support you. We all deserve harmonious, supportive communication! Blessings, Lorraine
I read recently about a beautiful example of forgiveness for a wrong that happened 50 years before.
Elwin Wilson had been a white supremacist, and one of the mob who, in 1961, severely beat up Freedom Riders demonstrating for integration and African Americans’ civil rights. Over time, Mr Wison came to feel great remorse about what he had done. When he learned that Congressman John Lewis was one of the young men he hurt, he apologized to him in a private meeting and publicly on TV, an apology that Congressman Lewis, deeply moved, accepted completely. He said that of all the men involved, Mr. Wilson was the first and only one to apologize, and spoke of him with deep respect.
It can be challenging to ask for forgiveness or to forgive someone, but these two men offer inspiration for what is possible.
Learning how to let go and forgive helped me a lot after two “break-ups.” Neither of these was with a spouse or romantic partner, but they were deep and difficult and painful nonetheless.
One was with a dear friend of several years, and the other was with an organization I worked at for 20 years.
A friend abruptly cut off contact with me, with just a curt e-mail that gave no indication of what I had done wrong, refusing to interact with me further. I felt betrayed, angry, and hurt. I spent time over and over looking at what I might have done wrong and blaming her.
Leaving a job I had for 20 years was very painful and grief-filled. Although I loved some aspects of it, Continue reading →
Would you like to hear more about my work? In this recent lively video interview between me, Lorraine Segal and Dave Hilton on the Conflict Specialist Show, I discuss my work as a Forgiveness Coach and Conflict Management coach and my approach to working with divorced parents. Check out the first part especially. Topics in the whole interview include:
Teens, Brains and Hot Buttons
Bullying at School and the Workplace
Transforming Communication for Divorced Parents
Your comments and questions are very welcome!
Lorraine Segal is a certified conflict management coach, a mediator and trainer specializing in transforming communication and resolving conflict for co-parents. Her business, Conflict Remedy, is based in Santa Rosa, California. She also teaches in the conflict resolution program at Sonoma State University.
While parents are divorcing and after they are divorced, they are often overwhelmed by all the changes in their lives. They may be filled with guilt, blame, rage, or grief. Though they, of course, love their children, it may be a huge challenge to manage emotions and conflict with their ex in a way that helps their children move through the changes and feel loved and secure.
What can parents do to help their children?
No self neglect. They can take care of themselves so they have energy to support the kids.
Say goodbye to couple relationship. The relationship as a couple is over. Grieve, say goodby, and instead, focus on how to move forward together only as parents.
We all have idealized images of the holiday season–perfect gifts and the warm glow of togetherness. But the gap between expectations and reality can be huge when parents are recently divorced, and grief, anger, and bitterness can intensify holiday stress. Your ex can seem particularly impossible to communicate with, and every conversation emotionally triggering.
Whatever you call these reactions– triggers, hot buttons, hooks–you know when your ex says or does something that “makes” you freeze in fear or hit the roof in anger. It is possible, however, to “cool down” these hot buttons, improve your conversations, and increase your holiday serenity in the process.
Here are 5 steps for cooling down holiday-intensified triggers.
Identify your hot buttons. We can’t change our response to hot buttons unless we know what they are. So, we start by thinking of a situation where your ex pushed your hot button. What did s/he do or say that set you off? Think about the facts (what happened or what was said) and feelings (how you felt, reacted.)
Now what? Unfortunately, other people generally won’t stop pushing our buttons once we’ve uncovered them, even if we ask nicely. So, I recommend steps 2-5. Continue reading →
I’ll start with a confession. I am utterly addicted to reading novels and have been since I was 9 years old. I am almost never without a novel to read, and when I have free time, I greedily devour more. My favorites include fantasy, science fiction, young adult fiction, novels about people in different cultures, and any novel with strong quirky characters, especially women, who overcome adversity and opposition to create a rich, transformative, life.
Novels Can Promote Empathy
So, as a devoted novel reader and mediator/conflict coach, I was delighted when I read a blog post on the Harvard Business Review Network by Ann Kreamer, called “The Business Case for Reading Novels.” In it, she cites a number of studies that show novel reading can stimulate empathy and increase our understanding of people who are different from us.
How can parents stay loving and detached but still listen when challenged by preteens and new teens?
My favorite pediatrician, T Berry Brazelton, advises parents of teens who are being challenged or insulted to say calmly, “I’m interested in what you have to say, but you’ll have to find another way of saying it.” (Press Democrat Tuesday December 13, 2011)
I think this one sentence can be immensely helpful to parents, and actually everyone in a difficult interaction. Let’s take a closer look at the wisdom and instructions in this concept. Continue reading →
Door 1 My old way of dealing with conflict; door 2 Letting go.
The most difficult conflicts in my life have generally come from trying to impose my will on reality, particularly when I’m trying to control other people. When I have expectations of how life should be, how others should communicate and behave, or how events should unfold, and then try to make it happen, I rarely get the result I want.
There is a powerful visualization in the book Hope For Today that I have found helpful for myself and my clients.