My Material Life

A Simple Formula for Conflicts

It occurred to me while I was at yard duty last week that what the first graders need is a simple conflict resolution model that us adults can help them work through to resolve the innumerable squabbles that come up on the play yard (he took my acorns, they won’t let me play Star Wars, etc.). Then on Saturday, I received a card from my cousin Kathy that included a simple, three-step process (a simple formula she called it) for resolving differences. And do you know who this formula came from? My beloved Uncle Bob who passed away last month. Kathy wrote about “the glory days” of Bob’s career – the time when he managed Chicago’s Hancock Building. Bob had 99 floors full of people he needed to keep happy (and if anyone could do it, he could). Here is his formula:

1.  When a challenge arises, always be the generous one. It’s not important to be right. (This one may be a challenge for the 6-year-olds, but it works for me!)

2.  Find something to laugh about. Find common ground.

3.  Figure out how to solve the challenge together.

May your ancestors guide and protect you. Thanks Uncle Bob and thank you, Kathy.




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