Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Specialist and Author Joshua N. Weiss, Ph.D. was the featured speaker during the third and fourth grade Chapel this past Thursday. Dr. Weiss is the co-founder of the Global Negotiation Initiative at Harvard University and a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Negotiation Project.
He read the boys his children's book, Trouble at the Watering Hole, in which a group of animals use effective conflict resolution strategies to resolve their dispute over who will have access to the watering hole.
Dr. Weiss discussed with the boys the variety of strategies employed by the animals in the book to successfully resolve their conflict. The boys then provided examples of situations in their own lives where they could envision a conflict arising with classmates. Through further discussion, the group came to see that the key to resolving these conflicts is active listening: taking the time to ask questions, truly listening to answers, and being open to creative solutions.
We all face conflicts in our lives. Learning to work through them in a civil, respectful and productive manner is an essential skill for our boys to develop as they aspire to be good men.