Recap: “Tips for Overcoming Conflict”
FEW Meeting November 13, 2014
Speaker: Tania Coke
Tania Coke, conflict meditator, corporeal mime artist, and FEW November speaker, sees conflict as a chance to keep asking yourself, “Who am I?”
By Christina Hanazawa-Gallagher, FEW Programs Director
On Thursday, November 13, FEW welcomed conflict mediator and corporeal mime artist, Tania Coke, as guest speaker to the November monthly meeting, where she guided the audience through a series of exercises to help people to distinguish the feeling of “powerlessness” and “control over their own situations” to understand what conflict does to the body. One exercise involved simply shrinking your back, shoulders, and neck at different levels, then rising again. When we avoid conflict, it is like “a turtle closing off itself and running away,” she said.
“All truths want to be learned. You have a better chance of keeping them if they are learned in the body.”
One of the first steps you can take when in a conflict situation whether internal or external one, is to recognize the conflict cycle:
1) Trigger event, 2) Uncertainty or doubt, 3) Present a pretty picture or place a label on it or yourself to the world, 4) Constantly shrinking and limiting self to identify with label, 5) Repeat
Tania said recognizing the pattern, is “an opportunity to see the nature of the cycle and access a deeper part of yourself.”
She also encouraged people to speak out loud about their conflicts because it can bring a new perspective to the situation. This is where the meditator can come in handy.
In another exercise, in pairs, one person explained their problem, while the other actively listened without judging or trying to fix it. After five minutes, the listener repeated the story back to the speaker using what they perceived was the speaker’s voice and feelings. Tania said that if we “can find a way to open up to new perspectives, we can open up to possibilities.”
With this simple exercise, she said this has helped people understand the conflict from another’s point of view. So, it is less about seeing the other person as the bad guy and recognizing that our point of view may not necessarily be the correct one.
Tania Coke trained as a mediator in the UK and is accredited by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) and Mediation UK. She has mediated in a wide range of workplace, commercial and community disputes, working both independently and through organisations such as CEDR, Camden Mediation Service, Total Conflict Management and Consensio Partners. She has designed and led mediation workshops for diverse groups including HR and management professionals, lawyers, doctors and community workers, both in the UK and (since moving to Tokyo three years ago) in Japan. She writes regular articles on mediation and conflict management for HR magazines such as Training Journal, HR Zone and HR Director.
Beyond mediation, she is involved in various activities all connected by the theme of “communication with the whole being”. She is the co-director of tarinainanika (http://www.tarinainanika.com), a theatre unit specialising in a form of stylised physical theatre called Corporeal Mime. She is also a corporate trainer helping business people to improve their presentation skills, logical thinking and general communication skills.
She began her career as a management consultant in London and Paris, and has a diploma from the International School of Corporeal Mime and a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University (Christ Church)
For more information about transformative mediation, to participate in a workshop, or catch one of Tania’s performances, you can reach out to her at the contact details below:
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