Category Archives: Uncategorized

My Newspaper Article

Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Dennis Kaiser, editor of the Seal Beach Sun newspaper, and was able to share with him a summer program that I am presenting in the city of Seal Beach along with GET SMART Tutoring Academy.

In today’s climate of conflict and bullying in the schools, children are faced with more challenges than ever before. With this in mind, GET SMART Tutoring Academy and Harper Conflict Resolution present “Tools for Life: Lessons in Conflict Resolution”.

This program provides skills that will enable your child to better address conflict in life as a child as well into adulthood. I am very excited to provide the community with a program that teaches effective communication skills and peace to a new generation of children.

This two 4-week summer sessions are available in July and August on Saturdays from 10:30am-12:00pm at GET SMART Tutoring Academy. In the upcoming summer program for elementary school students between grades 3-5, students will learn:

  • Differences between Conflict vs. Bullying and how to rise above it
  • Improving self-esteem
  • Enhancing communication skills
  • Active listening

Feel free to click the link and take a look at the great article. Contact me for more information about the program.


What is Conflict?

I recently had the pleasure of speaking to a great group of parents at a school on Conflict Resolution and the role of the bystander in a bullying situation. During my lecture, I touched on a disservice that has been done to our children by their parents and schools. That particular disservice is the perpetuation of a one-sided view of conflict. At best, a negative connotation is automatically associated with the term and at worst, it is mislabeled as bullying. During my talk, I made sure to explain the differences between conflict and bullying, but also implored them to explain to their children that there is just as good a chance of a positive outcome as there is a negative outcome when a conflict has surfaced. With that said, here are 7 aspects that we should keep in mind in terms of conflict and how to navigate through them in a healthy manner:


1. Conflict is inevitable and can be negative or positive.

In its simplest terms, conflict is defined as a disagreement with another person. This disagreement can be over limited resources, a difference in perceptions, or a perceived threat to our needs, interests, or concerns. When these things happen, it is important to take the power back in the sense of deciding what to do with our emotions. It is in those choices that conflict can turn in either direction. Choose wisely.


2. Remember to think about the problem.

This is a reminder to stop and calm down if your emotions are running high. When encountering a conflict, our feelings can go through a wide range of stages, from fear to rage. In these cases, it is important to think about the situation and ask yourself “Why is this situation making me feel the way I do at the moment?”, “What exactly are my interests in this situation?”, and “What exactly do I want this other person to do?” When you have sufficiently thought about and found the answer to all 3 of these questions, not only have you likely calmed down from your previous emotional state, but you have also found the words to articulate what to say to the other person.


3. Say what you feel

This is the point where you explain to the other person what you are seeing, how it is making you feel, and what you would like to see happen. The key to this step is non-threatening confrontation. When people use what is typically called the “I message”, it allows the other person to hear what you are saying without shutting themselves down and becoming defensive.


4. Listen to the other person

Quite possibly the most critical step, this is the part in which the other person will either be more inclined to work it out or dig in their heels and battle from positions instead of interests. The key here is to listen intently to the other person while giving eye contact as they say how they see the situation. When this respect is forwarded to the other person, the hostilities can lessen and a resolution is much more attainable.

5. Brainstorm solutions

Once both of you have articulated your feelings and interests, there is a base level of respect that has been established. With that respect, people become interested in a solution that can satisfy all parties. It is during this time that brainstorming solutions can take place. Working together to find a solution can also foster a sense of kinship between people and a future relationship can develop.


6. Decide what each person will do

Once the ideas for resolution have been hashed out and the strengths and weaknesses of each idea have been discovered, you choose the resolution that addresses the most interests between the parties.


7. Stick to what you have decided.

When the resolution has been reached, the disputants have made each other accountable by making good on their part of the agreement. Through this shared responsibility and accountability, a positive relationship or bond can form, leading to a greater sense of community.


These steps are essential to cultivating and fostering a healthy relationship when conflict inevitably occurs. If you have a conflict and need someone to help facilitate these steps between yourself and the other person, do not hesitate to contact me.

Coffee Conflict and the Bystander

One morning, I was at my local coffee shop doing some work. I sat at a table next to a wall across from the counter. The lines were typically long for a weekday morning, replete with the hustle and bustle of people waiting for their caffeine fix before going into work. There was one person in particular that seemed to be in an extreme rush, hurrying to even say his order. When the order came back, the drink seemed to have been inaccurate because the customer completely tore into the young looking cashier yelling about the failures of the cashier, the simplicity of the order, and the projection of future failure for the cashier. All the while, most people stopped, stood quietly, and after the disgruntled customer stormed out of the coffee shop, went back to their lives as if nothing ever happened.

More often than not, we are the bystanders in these situations. We are the ones who see these things happen in our many travels. We don’t realize it half the time, but those are the times where we have some of the most power. That power lies in the decision we make in that situation. We can easily let the situation unfold as it will, deciding that it isn’t any of our business or that we just don’t have the time to get involved and “sort out the mess” or “save someone”. The other side of that coin is that we can step in, bring some positivity into the situation, and say a kind word to the cashier that could change the trajectory of his or her day and the vibe in the entire store. It doesn’t take much effort, but the results can make all the difference in the world.

The next time you see something like that happen, think about the power you have as you watch this unfold. The role of the bystander is more powerful than you think.


Hello and welcome to the blog for Harper Conflict Resolution. Along with my services, I want to provide a space where I will be highlighting articles as well as sharing experiences from mediations, interactions in schools, topics that arise from conflict resolution trainings, and life outside of the office.

The purpose of this blog is to show how we can use principles of conflict resolution in our daily lives. Conflict resolution bridges the gap between people, resulting in the purest sense of community. Growing up in school, we were taught The Golden Rule, which is “Do Unto Others as You Would Have Them Do Unto You”. That rule is the essence of conflict resolution and, while it may be difficult to adhere to that mantra at times, the results can be beneficial to everyone.

I will touch more in depth on topics like this in the blog as well as other issues. Feel free to comment and ask questions. Again, welcome and my hope is that you gain as much out of this blog as I gained by the experiences that went into it.