Steve’s Amazing Summer Adventure
Monday, June 16 – Wednesday, July 10, 2019
In Part 1 of My Summer Adventure, I wrote about “consolution” when describing my learning experiences in Israel and Palestine. Back home, my new mission is to promote this concept as founder of The Consolution Project.
The seeds for The Consolution Project were sown 20 years ago when I read “Avoiding the Gap” by Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach.© 1 He recommended that we measure success in a new way: not by whether we’ve reached the end point—the goal—but by the progress we’ve made from our starting point. This change of perspective allows us to avoid frustration and stay positive. I began to use this and other coaching methods to keep my employees motivated and my business moving forward. Over time, I realized these strategies and tools could effectively address conflict of any kind, whether I was working locally as a board member of a community organization or internationally as a change agent in the Middle East. And so I coined a new word, “consolution” to describe my new mission: promoting the constructive resolution of conflict.
The Birth of The Consolution Project (TCP)
Progress, not Perfection
I’m mindful of the progress we’ve made since World War II. Today, more people die from overeating than starvation. More people die from old age than epidemics. Fewer people die violently than ever before in history.
Let’s be proud of this progress. I believe it’s critical to measure our success in uniting humanity by what we’ve achieved, not by what’s left to do. This tenet is one of the foundations on which I’m building The Consolution Project. We’ve pursued “peace” as the goal, but it’s an ideal state that’s neither attainable nor sustainable. If we can never reach this goal, we become discouraged.
Consolution—the constructive resolution of conflict—accepts and acknowledges that conflict is always going to be part of life. As such, it provides proven strategies and tools to work through it. Step by step, it offers a way to move forward. It celebrates progress, not perfection!
I was nervous about presenting this concept on my trip, but I had to find out if it had traction. I’m happy to report that it does. I’m convinced that The Consolution Project is a real way to move forward.
The Core Values of TCP define our culture and who we truly are as people. They define who is a consolutionist and who is not. This trip clarified our Core Values, as follows:
- Strive with passion tempered by pragmatism
- Lead with humble confidence
- Decide to be someone both grateful and gracious
- Allow yourself to be open and honest
- Achieve the right goal, solve the right issue
- Become a dedicated consolutionist—fearlessly resolving conflict constructively!
Consolution in Action
On my TCP adventure, I helped a group of seven people who run a non-profit in the Middle East. Over two days, I facilitated a workshop where they learned how to create Team Health and use Organizational Tools to make their non-profit healthy, effective, and sustainable.
On Team Health Day, the group began by sharing personal stories. They worked to understand each person’s Kolbe A ™Index2 and communication style and went on to determine their group values.
On Organizational Tool Day, the group created an Accountability Chart3 and an Issues List,4 learning to IDS (Identify, Discuss, and Solve) the issues. Then I introduced them to a project management tool called TRIP.5 The day ended with the One Thing exercise: identifying the one thing you’re going to start/stop doing today.
These two days produced a ten-page report, a blueprint to help this group lead an organization that will make a real impact in their community. They now have traction. I hope this will be the first of many TCP experiences for them.
Watch for the Tools mentioned above to be featured on our website: www.theconsolutionproject.org
Become a Consolutionist
I’ve returned from this trip optimistic about the future and TCP’s role in resolving conflict. I urge you to join me in this pursuit. Help us spread the word about consolution:
- Go to our website (now under construction) and sign up to receive information
- Have interesting conversations with friends and family about the idea
- Send us examples of books, articles, people, stories, and movies that you believe promote the concept of consolution
Coming in 2020:
- Invite a member of our team to your gathering to help you learn more about consolution
- If you’re part of a group leadership team and believe the tools mentioned here would benefit your group, send us an inquiry. We’ll be happy to customize a workshop for you.
Finally, thank you to the people of Affiance Financial for providing me with the financial and emotional confidence to take this challenging and rewarding four-week adventure!
1Sullivan, Dan. Learning How to Avoid the Gap (Toronto: The Strategic Coach©, 1999).
2Kolbe, Kathy. Kolbe A™Index/Instinct Test. Kolbe-Corp.com.
https://www.Kolbe.com/K2/show_takeIndex/indexType_A. (accessed August 13, 2019).
3,4Proven Tools that Drive Organizational Success. EOS Worldwide.com.
https://www.eosworldwide.com/eos-tools. (accessed August 13, 2019).
5TRIP inspired by the following:
Lax, David A. and James K. Sebenius, 3-D Negotiation (Brighton,
Massachusetts: Harvard Business Review Press, 2006).