Church seminar teaches participants how to communicate

Filed under FLGR-PALMCOAST

Jeroline McCarthyWe cannot turn away from conflict and reason that it’s too hard to tackle. Conflict isn’t strange and periodically must be dealt with. We must give space and allow others to speak, so they’ll be understood, and we’ll become more caring.

Studies show that most of what we say is really not heard or understood. And so, First Church hosted a free, family-centered seminar titled “Communications,” which was the first in a series for a well-planned event on Saturday.

All part of a well-planned event were Dr. Irving Robinson, Christine Robinson, the Rev. Gillard S. Glover, Wilmoth Edwards and Hazel Edwards.

All part of a well-planned event were Dr. Irving Robinson, Christine Robinson, the Rev. Gillard S. Glover, Wilmoth Edwards and Hazel Edwards.

Other topics are scheduled for presentation: “Money and Finance,” “Parenting” and more. The series is free; seating was limited, and lunch and child care were furnished.

Marketing and promotional consideration were provided by Wilmoth Edwards, who holds a master’s in Information Systems, and his wife, Hazel Edwards, who earned an MBA from Harvard. The Edwards put together the entire series. They are owners of Randolph Nias and Associates, a management/consulting firm.

Doctor, nurse share communication tips
Dr. Irving Robinson, M.D., and his wife, Christine Huesner Robinson, R.N., illustrated the most effective ways to communicate. They joined the community in a lively discussion. There were other points impinging upon conflicts and solutions, but only a few are discussed here.

Dr. Robinson, a retired obstetrician/gynecologist, is an assistant biology professor at the School of Science, Engineering, and Math at Bethune-Cookman University. Christine, a certified midwife, is an instructor for hospital and health care at the School of Nursing at Bethune-Cookman University.

The Robinsons described the tools for recognizing and managing conflict:

• Misunderstanding or miscommunication may arise. Lack of cooperation and/or perceived lack of communication could develop. Unclear expectations and non-compliance are neither advantageous. Moreover, conflict doesn’t have to result in winners or losers. There are times when one will be a winner, and another time, a loser.

• One must not play the victim.

• Non-verbal communication must be congruent with verbal communication.

• One’s perception is reality in that others cannot say that our perception is false.

• Personality differences make us the way we are. However, because individuals may be of the same culture does not mean that there’s not going to be conflict.

• Were you defensive?  Nervous?  Did you blame the other person? Did you take verbal shots?

The Robinsons provided skills and knowledge of non-confrontation to allow those attending to think about who they are:

• Avoidance style – This category represents those who deny there is conflict.

• Competitive style – Those representing the category take a stance that they win while the other loses.

• Compromise style – This is the non-confrontational style where one gives up something.

• Accommodative style – These persons are willing to lose in order that someone can win.

• Collaborative style – This is an empowering category, allowing the contenders to reach mutual problem-solving. Moreover, the right time and place must be chosen to discuss the conflict, making eye contact, maintaining good posture, and listening responsively. Discuss what you have agreed on first. Clarify the problem. Avoid paraphrasing. Ask what you need. Eliminate emotion and defensive behavior. But, be objectively willing to discuss ideas. Urge the other to be open. Create a plan of action to follow and hear the other’s thoughts/wants/interests, and then you are able to “begin the dance of negotiation” in a spirit of fruit and love.

AACS to host luncheon
The African American Cultural Society (AACS) is proud to host the “Annual Awards Luncheon” on March 16, 1 p.m., at the AACS, 4422 U.S. 1 North, Palm Coast.

The organizers are Awards Chairman Walter Boone and Ways and Means Chairman/First Vice President Sybil Dodson Lucas.

The “Meritorious Awards” will go to Lynda Baten, Vivian Richardson, and Diana McKie-Robinson.  The “Distinguished Long-Term Awards” will go to Robert A. Brooks and Dorothy G. Robinson. All honorees are AACS members.

The ticket price is $25.

Contact Stephanie Robinson for tickets at 386-439-7174, the AACS office, 386-447-7030; or email: AACSPalmCoast@aol.com.

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As always, remember our prayers for the sick, afflicted and bereaved.

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