A 4-Step Process to Counter Bias and Bigotry

How do you respond when someone says something biased that makes you uncomfortable or even angry? Have you ever wanted to say something, but struggled to find the words?

Speak Up!, a publication from the Teaching Tolerance project, helps us think through these situations in advance. Its simple, easy-to-remember guidance is applicable in a wealth of situations. And for those interested in a more in-depth look, you can download a PDF of the full Handbook as well.

Feel free to share this with your clients and other organizations – but don’t forget: coaches lead the way by walking their talk!

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The Magic Carpet: A Conflict Management Tool

Whether you’re dubious or curious, you gotta admit that title’s got game. But it’s no game when a parent is trying to referee the fourteenth instance of the same argument (this week) between two kids.

The following solution* involves a “magic carpet,” a “talking stick,” and a bit of hubris:

We have a magic carpet in our home. To the untrained eye it appears to be a small oval rug that sits in front of the fireplace. It serves as a safety net should burning embers make it through the fireplace screen and fall onto the floor. The protective nature of this rug is an important and appreciated function, but is not related in any way to its magical attributes. Our magic rug plays a more important role. It produces magical and elegant solutions to family conflicts. This is how it works.

Last week, Austin began an algebra unit in his 5th grade math class. His older sister, Chelsea, has been studying Algebra throughout her 8th grade school year. When Austin made an error on one homework problem, Chelsea leaped to the rescue. Fashioning herself as a future math teacher, Chelsea saw this opportunity as a chance to practice her trade. There was a slight problem, however. Austin did not want to be the practice dummy. A light disagreement began, gradually escalated it’s way into bickering, and then bloomed into a full blown argument, complete with angry tones and loud voices. Read More…

So coaches, listen up: this idea can work for “kids of all ages,” and the “carpet” can be any defined space – for example, a masking tape rectangle on the floor. So next time you need a conflict resolution tool in your coaching (or for a workshop), pull out your “magic carpet,” and watch what unfolds!

*Thanks to friend and colleague Norb Rozanski for sharing this piece with me.

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