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Sticking Points: The Reader’s Guide

Date: August 21, 2015

Sticking Points: How to Get 4 Generations Working Together in the 12 Places They Come Apart by Haydn Shaw

Each year Conflict Resolution Month in Colorado selects a book as recommended reading for the community at large, with the goal to spread information and encourage conversation on ways to resolve conflicts at all levels of society. Although this book focuses on issues that arise in the workplace, it quickly becomes apparent that the sticking points Shaw identifies also appear in a variety of settings including home, school, neighborhood, congregation, or civic group. Sticking Points is a timely work as there are currently four generations in the workforce – retiring Traditionalists to the as-yet-unnamed post-Millennial generation. Families already consist of up to five living generations.  Shaw uses “ghost stories” of each generation, pivotal events that shaped each generation’s perspectives, to build a foundation of shared understanding between generations.  Shaw presents a five-step process to transform sticking points into places of renewed unity.  Sticking Points provides better understanding of generational differences, and teaches ways to improve communication and build stronger relationships.

The Guiding Question:  How do we develop shared understanding, respect, and appreciation of each generation’s views, and how do we use that shared understanding to improve our relationships at work, home, and in the community?

For Individuals:  Shaw’s examination of the events that shaped each generation’s perspectives encourages the reader to question their assumptions about generational stereotypes and apply this new-found understanding to relationships with members of different generations in any setting. What are your assumptions about Traditionalists, Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials? What do you think others assume about you and your generation? Do you fit the typical description? What helps you feel understood by those of other generations?

For Families: The five-step process Shaw describes in Chapter 3 will prove useful for untangling family conflicts rooted in generational differences, particularly in the multi-generational households that are becoming more prevalent in the United States. What are the “ghost stories” that form your perspectives? What are the values of family members? Are they based on experiences from certain times in history? What are “old” or “new” expectations in your family?

For Workplaces: Shaw writes “If we are going to get through this next decade, we have to understand that we are natives to only one generation and immigrants to the other three.” (p. 18) Workplaces devote significant resources to enhancing cultural diversity, yet many workplaces cling to outdated norms, policies, and processes because “that’s the way it’s done here.” Do you experience outdated policies or norms at your workplace? Are there inappropriate behaviors that diminish the productive atmosphere for employees and customers of varying ages?  How can you agree on corporate norms based on differing generation-based values?

For Communities: The nature of community changes with each successive generation. Communities – neighborhood, civic group, faith-based groups – that wish to remain viable for the long term must find ways to connect with members of all generations. What makes community members feel isolated and unimportant? Is understanding and inclusion a concern of the group and/or are individuals responsible for their own choices? What are ways to find out about opinions and needs of individuals so your community can keep members of all ages engaged and ensure they feel valued?

This Reader’s Guide was prepared by Mitzi Hicks, MPA, Grants & Contracts Administrator for The Conflict Center.

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Conflict Center Board President Receives 9 Teachers Who Care Award

Date: June 4, 2015

The Conflict Center is delighted to announce that our Board President, Michael Hoops, has received the 9 Teachers Who Care award for his work with students at Eagle Crest High School.  Mike makes a tremendous impact on his students by not just teaching science, which he has done for 18 years, but also by caring about his students and the problems they face in their lives, and by helping them develop the skills and strength to deal with personal issues that can present barriers to learning.

“Sometimes it’s all about the academics and the pressure with testing, all that stuff. I think sometimes the human side of students’ stories doesn’t get heard. They want that; they want to be heard. I hope I do that with my kiddos,” Hoops says.

Click here to view the video from Channel 9 News.

There is also a story and interview in the Front Porch neighborhood newsletter.

Congratulations Mike!!!

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Summer Restorative Justice Workshop Series starts June 5

Date: May 21, 2015

The Conflict Center will offer a series of three Restorative Justice workshops this summer, starting with Restorative Principles I on June 5.

This workshop teaches the fundamental theory of Restorative Justice, a value–based approach that includes communication, reparation, reintegration, healing, responsibility and most of all respect. The process gives the victim a voice and the opportunity for reparation and healing, being able to ask questions to the wrongdoer in a guided and safe environment. It also provides the possibility for the wrongdoer to take responsibility for his/her acts and be part of the decision making to repair the harm in a constructive way.

This workshop will be held on June 5, 2015 from 8:30am – 4:30pm at The Conflict Center, 4140 Tejon Street in Denver.  Fee for this workshop is $99.00 until June 1, and after that date increases to $120.00. For more information or to register, call 303-433-4983 or visit

Watch your e-mail for information on additional RJ workshops:

Restorative Principles II: July 1, 2015

Restorative Principles III: July 31, 2015


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