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Nonprofit View: Mediation services can help with spring cleanup of relationships

It is time to celebrate! It looks like spring is finally here after what feels like a very, very long and wet winter!

Spring evokes feelings of excitement, new beginnings, new life, and new hope. Most of us are eagerly awaiting the time to clean up debris left behind by winter storms, to get the ground ready for planting, to get reorganized, and to complete our “Spring Cleaning;” all so we can start fresh!

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Shouldn’t we do the same for our relationships? Too often, we ignore or neglect the cleanup needed after the interpersonal storms which occur over time in our relationships with significant others, close and extended family members, neighbors, friends and co-workers which leave behind hurt feelings, strained, and tense encounters and destruction, potentially marring our lives.

Just as we are eager to pull out clean-up tools such as rakes, hoes, brooms and mops, we should take advantage of the conflict resolution tools in our community to tend to strained or damaged relationships.

The Carroll County Community Mediation Center (CCCMC) which operates under Carroll Community College’s (CCC) Continuing Education and Training department has been providing no cost, convenient, confidential conflict management coaching, mediation, and facilitation services in Carroll County since 2000.

Conflict coaching is a one on one service designed to support people with a conflict situation or to help improve conflict management skills. Coaches are available to work with you over the phone or in person to analyze the conflict, to help you determine your goals, and to develop a strategy to successfully address your conflict.

Mediation brings together two or more people in a conflict with non-judgmental mediators who listen, clarify what’s important to all participants, identify topics to be addressed, and facilitate the development of solutions that work for everyone involved.

Facilitation services are available for groups of ten or more. The Center’s neutral facilitators work with meeting organizers and participants to design a process that promotes dialogue, clarity, and efficiency in order to meet the goals of the group. As third party neutrals, the facilitators guide the process with all participants and remain unattached to the outcomes. The facilitators assist in keeping the meeting on track and record notes and action items.

So this spring consider addressing the conflicts and disputes, young and old that need your attention, because relationships matter!

Contact the Mediation Center today at 410-848-1764, CCCMC@carrollcc.edu, or www.carrollcc.edu/mediation.

Staff members will work with you to determine the best approach to addressing your conflict needs. The Center’s conflict coaching, mediation, and facilitation services are provided at no cost to you thanks to private donations, grantors, CCC and CCCMC volunteers. Services are provided seven days a week, typically between the hours of 9 a.m.-9 p.m. at locations all over Carroll County.

The CCCMC strives to remove the barriers of financial, time, and transportation challenges to increase the community’s access to high quality, effective tools to resolve disputes and conflicts in Carroll County in order to support healing, renewing and sustaining relationships in our community.

Patricia Ryan is the director of Carroll County Community Mediation Center.

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