Next Quarterly Session Eyes Strategies for "Being Agreeable" in Confrontational Situations

Session kicks off with Inaugural "Soup & Civility" event

C4C's next quarterly community-wide event—Soaring Toward Common Ground—is set for Wednesday, Jan. 25. The evening will explore the concept of what it means to "Be Agreeable" (even when you disagree)—one of the 9 basic principles of the Sisters Country Civility Project and Speak Your Peace.

The free educational event will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a "Soup & Civility" community-building and networking meal at the Sisters Fire Station Community Hall, 301 S. Elm St., in Sisters. Special thanks go to Melvin's Fir Street Market in Sisters for being a lead sponsor for the event. Immediately following the light meal, Professor Gregg Walker will lead an informative workshop; attendees will gain skills in constructive confrontation. In addition, a bonus follow-up skill-building session is planned for Thursday morning.

When someone's actions or attitudes concern or frustrate us, we're not always sure how to respond, notes Walker, a professor of Communication at Oregon State University. His 90-minute Wednesday evening workshop will offer constructive confrontation techniques—effective strategies to safely and respectfully communicate and respond to disagreement and even constructively negotiate with others for changes in behavior.

In addition to being a professor of Communication, Walker is an adjunct professor in the environmental sciences, forestry, geosciences, and public policy programs at OSU. On campus, Professor Walker teaches courses in conflict management, negotiation, mediation, international negotiation, environmental conflict resolution, science communication, sustainable development and argumentation. 

Off campus, he conducts training programs on conflict management, designs collaborative public participation processes, facilitates collaborative learning community workshops about natural resource and environmental policy issues, and researches community-level collaboration efforts.

WORTH NOTING: Professor Walker also has offered to lead a bonus follow-up skill-building session and discussion for attendees of Wednesday evening's event. That extra 90-minute session will take place Thursday morning, Jan. 26, and will take an even closer look at how to address particularly challenging interactions or situations. Attendees will learn a variety of facilitation techniques to add to the skills they learned during Wednesday's session. Thursday morning's bonus session is slated to begin at 9 a.m. (more details to come).

Professor Walker has served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in the fields of Peace and Conflict Resolution. He is an advisor to the National Collaboration Cadre of the USDA-Forest Service and on the roster of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution. He also is co-director of the Climate Change Project for Mediators Beyond Borders International and Chair of the Climate Change Negotiations Working Group for the International Environmental Communication Association. In these roles he attends most of the United Nations climate change negotiation meetings and conducts related research on those negotiations.

Walker holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in Communication Studies from the University of Kansas and B.A. and B.S. degrees in Speech Communication, Sociology, and History from the University of Minnesota.

This Sisters Country Civility Project event is being offered FREE. ALL ARE INVITED. RSVP’s are encouraged by no later than Jan. 20 at citizens4community@gmail.com. You can use the RSVP submission form on the Events Page listing for this event. When RSVP'ing, please indicate if you also are interested in attending Thursday morning's bonus skill-building event.

These free, quarterly community events are made possible with generous, ongoing support from valued community partners, including Sisters Coffee Company, and a grant from the Deschutes County Commissioners.

              Gregg Walker

             Gregg Walker