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Spring Gillard
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Shifting to Curiosity

One of the big challenges I’ve had in my first couple months of school is my own resistance. I’ve been around the block a few times, so when someone tells me I have to do something and in a specific way, I feel myself bracing, a great big NO rising from my toes, with an accompanying chorus of thoughts: that’s a waste of time, bad approach, just plain stupid, so not the real world. Then I went to a workshop, called “The Joy of Conflict.” Uh huh. It’s one of the perks of grad school, I get to go to some amazing professional development workshops on campus, for free! Gary Harper, a former lawyer and the workshop leader, wrote a book called, the Joy of Conflict Resolution: Transforming Victims, Villains and Heroes in the Workplace and at Home. The very first activity was to put our names on a plasticized tent card. That I could do, without resistance. I pulled a card out of the pile on my table. One side was blank where we could write our names in erasable marker. The other side had a phrase on it. Mine read: shift judgment to curiosity. Nailed me and the workshop had barely begun. Shifting into curious mode now.

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