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Quakers and Conflict (letter 2)

Bob Kinsey
On Art (March 2020)

Dear Mary:

Thank you for your visit to Maui. The time was so pleasant that I was shocked to find four hours had sped by, leaving me to dash to a meeting of my homeowners’ association (HOA). I hope the remainder of your trip was pleasant.

As it turned out, the HOA meeting was less than harmonious. Afterwards, I began reading the edition of Western Friend you left with us. Fortunately, “Quakers and Conflict” was the first article I chose to read. The next morning, I went online and assessed my own conflict style with the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument described in the article. I was wondering how my role in the previous night’s meeting might have contributed to the lack of harmony.

This exercise allowed me to review the previous night through a different lens. I saw that my competitive nature came out when a homeowner verbally attacked a woman who was not present. With that insight, I realized that my response was my usual – defend the underdog. But I’m sure I could have found a less hostile way to react.

My follow-up was to write a letter to the “attacker” and suggest we talk through our different focuses on the issues that mushroomed from the initial attack.

Thank you for facilitating my growth. Please come again.

-- Bob Kinsey, Maui Worship Group (PYM)

mediation Conflict Resolution

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