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Conflict and Radiohead

by Jason Dykstra
February 2011

From From Jason Dykstra's Absolution Mediation Blog

Jason Dykstra

Alright, I’m excited…last Friday Radiohead’s newest album was released. It’s called “King of Limbs” and I downloaded it from their website the first opportunity I got. If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m a fan of them. So you can imagine my surprise when I loaded it on my Ipod, listened to it on the way to work, and was less then impressed. Yes, I said it, I was not impressed. So I talked to my community and found out that some loved it, and some had the same view as me. So I decided to give it another try.

Guess what….I enjoyed it on the second listen! II loved the variety of the album and the journey it took me on.

So what does this have to do with conflict and communication?

When I looked back at my experience, the first time I listened to the album I was not having a great morning, I was tired, I was rushed, in other words, there were a lot of factors going on. The second time I listened I was more attentive, I was in a better mood, I was rested and ready to listen.

Does this sound familiar? Have you ever been in a situation where someone said something to you and you didn’t take it well. They could have said the same thing on any other day and it might have even been funny, but that day you took offense to it.

I’m talking precipitating factors here. These are events or things that take place before an incident. For example, I did a mediation recently where a youth wasn’t having a good day. He woke up on the wrong side of the bed, was late for school, and ended up cutting his hand. Then he punched someone. The person that was punched wasn’t the issue, the youth’s day was, and he made a bad decision and punched someone.

Do you know how your day is affecting you? Are you aware of where you are at during your communication with others?

Take time to evaluate how your day is going. Take time to think about what your day has been like when you take offense to something. Was the other person trying to create conflict with you, or is that a result of how your day is going.

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves” – Carl Jung


Jason is a Conflict Management Specialist who is helping organizations and congregations move from conflict situations to creative solutions. He specializes in relational and communication issues and uses his experience and training in mediation, group facilitation, conflict management coaching, speaking and teaching to aid you and your surroundings to better cope with conflict and become more conflict resilient. Jason has a background in social services, working with individuals with developmental disabilities, mental health and at-risk youth. He complements his experience with an Advanced Certificate in Conflict Management and is currently in pursuit of his Master's Degree in Leadership. Jason lives in St. George, Ontario with his beautiful wife and two children.

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