Martin Luther King Jr. is quoted as saying, “People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”
We often have challenges communicating in healthy ways in our relationships. So much of the conflict that happens in human service settings is rooted in a lack of effective and healthy communication. For a period of time, my previous employer would do organization wide surveys to determine organizational strengths and weaknesses as perceived by staff. Without fail, when looking at the organizational wide data, issues with effective communication would be at or near the top of the list of people’s frustrations. The challenges with communication go beyond conflict between employees but also include conflict with individuals served, their families, and other agencies serving the same individuals.
In The Mandt System, our program is designed to help people learn the tools they need to build healthy, trusting relationships and manage conflict through the use of healthy communication skills. When organizations have cultures that promote and foster healthy communication between all their stakeholders, they are able to create and sustain environments that are healthier, safer, and more therapeutically beneficial for all involved.
Doug ZehrVogt, Mandt System Faculty