Conflicts are based on many aspects of experience including what we know, what we think we know, what we believe, what we understand, and our perceptions of the world. What we know is intimately tied to our identity. The experiences of knowing and identity are embodied in the neural structures and activations of the body’s nervous system. It is a truism of our field that understanding the source of a conflict is an important step in resolving a conflict. In this session, we will look at the sources or roots of conflict in the neural characteristics of knowing and identity, giving us a better understanding of why conflicts happen, why they are often difficult to prevent or resolve, how misunderstandings happen, the difficulties of communication, and the nature of many perceptual biases (confirmation bias, implicit bias, naive realism, stereotyping, projections, ingroup/outgroup behavior, etc.)
TIM HICKS is a conflict management professional providing mediation, facilitation, training, coaching, and consulting to individuals and organizations in the private and public arenas since 1993. From 2006 to 2014, after 14 years in private practice, he led the Master’s degree program in Conflict and Dispute Resolution at the University of Oregon to a position of national prominence as its first director. In that position, in addition to his other responsibilities, he taught a number of graduate-level conflict resolution courses.
Tim returned to private practice in 2015, living in and working from Eugene, Oregon. As well as his mediation, facilitation, and consulting work, he continues to teach and present nationally. He is an adjunct professor at Endicott College teaching a course on conflict and its resolution.
Prior to his conflict management career, he and his wife started and managed two successful businesses, one that grew to 150+ employees. Tim is co-author of the book The Process of Business/Environmental Collaborations: Partnering for Sustainability (Quorum Books, May 2000), a text on collaborative partnerships to resolve environmental disputes between corporations and environmental organizations, author of the article Another Look At Identity-Based Conflict: The Roots of Conflict in the Psychology of Consciousness (Negotiation Journal, Vol. 17, #1, January 2001), author of the novel, Last Stop Before Tomorrow (iUniverse, 2015) that offers a perspective on climate change and our struggle to respond, and author of what has been called a groundbreaking book, Embodied Conflict: the neural basis of conflict and communication (Routledge, 2018). You will find more information about his work and about his mediation and facilitation approaches at his web site at https://www.connexusconflictmanagement.com.