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Conflict is inevitable and everywhere. The way we manage our conflicts has a tremendous impact on our success and satisfaction in life.

Imagine the final moments of a championship minor hockey game. The kids have played their hearts out and are locked in a tie game. The stands are filled with cheering family and friends. The referee misses a close call at the blueline and one team scores to win the game. Instantly half the stands are outraged, and half are ecstatic. If you were to meet with parents from each team the next day you would hear two very different stories of what happened and what they made it mean.

We can consider a number of conclusions about the nature of conflict from this simple example:

1st – Conflict exists in our stories of the past about what happened to us and what we made it mean. When our stories are different in ways that matter to us, we can have conflict.

2nd – Conflict occurs when someone does something or fails to do something that blocks our access to what’s important to us. We think it shouldn’t be this way and so we react.

3rd – We get trapped in our conflict stories. When an event triggers a negative emotion such as anger, fear or frustration, our very identity can feel at risk. We focus on fault and blame and on who is right or wrong.

4th – We often look to support our position in the conflict. We share our stories and their meanings with others in order to get them on our side. If we involve a lawyer, we expect them to champion our story.

We are always going to have different stories and different meanings because:

  • · We have different backgrounds and life experiences.
  • · We have different values and beliefs.
  • · We have different information.
  • · We interpret and judge differently.
  • · We have different interests and needs.

When we learn to manage our conflicts effectively our lives simply work better.

Please contact us to book a FREE consultation for all your conflict management needs:


Below are some of the services we offer:

  • Conflict Management Coaching.
  • Custom Designed Dispute Resolution Processes.
  • Neutral 3rd Party Mediation and Facilitation,
  • Workshops and Training Programs.

Your questions and comments are welcome and appreciated.

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David Gould (LLB, QC, C Med) has helped hundreds of lawyers and their clients – business and government organizations, and individuals – in conflict situations to co-create solutions for the future. For more information, contact us at: or at 403-801-0234