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“I apply my conflict management skills in all aspects of my daily life: in the workplace with my co-workers, at home with family and in most social environments. My communication skills have increased; I have become a better listener and express myself more positively verbally as well as physically.
“Pausing is a skill that I use daily. The technique is simple: just stop and think before you speak and react. Take a little extra time to gather a few more facts and analyze the situation. Saying what first pops into your head is usually not the right thing to do. Don’t allow your emotions to dictate your reactions.
“I’ve benefited significantly from Dr. Tony Picchioni’s alternative dispute resolution classes and the Conflict Management program. I realize that I can’t control the world around me; I can only control myself. I’ve learned how to react to negative situations in a positive and advanced manner. Sometimes you have to lose to win — and you have to choose your battles so that you can prevail in the long run. The most important thing I’ve learned is to be more level-headed and open-minded, to see myself in different ways, to recognize my own mistakes and admit to them — and then to learn from them.
“Even if you don’t go on to be a mediator professionally, you use these skills in daily life.”
Leonard Garcia earned a certificate in Conflict Management from North Lake College in December 2008.