March 14, 2014

As any ombudsperson can attest, all conflicts involve cultural components.   An individual’s culture affects their approach to conflict.  Exploring your own cultural lens is the first step to understanding the impact on conflict.  As a fish may not be able to identify the quality of the water that surrounds it, many individuals do not regularly question their assumptions or recognize aspects of their own culture.   

You may see aspects of your own worldview as you read the article below.  By recognizing that your cultural paradigm contributes to how you understand time, relationships, and ways of communicating you may begin to appreciate how other’s perspectives are different.  Conflicts often emerge around these differences that provide an opportunity for dialogue. This article discusses aspects of culture that relate to conflict that are, at first glance, hidden:  http://www.beyondintractability.org/print/2562   

 The Staff Ombuds Office looks forward to exploring additional ways of understanding and addressing conflict and culture in its upcoming training on March 25th.  Please join us by registering through the UC Learning Center at https://blu.is.berkeley.edu.