Welcome to HEN - Transforming Conflict for our Health, Environment, Negotiation
HEN is published each month by Julia Menard:
Helping the Workplace Engage - One Tough Conversation at a Time! juliamenard.com
HEN arrives at the full moon -
because light transforms darkness.
Full Moon: July 19, 2016 - Year 14, Issue 7
Traditionally, the summer issues of HEN are my time to replenish - where content is slim and rest time is large. Summer is the time to kick back, relax and reconnect with and nourish our bodies! It’s also the time that I only write one article for HEN. This is it! If you are curious about past editions, you can find them here.
This summer, I had the privilege of taking a few leadership courses at the University of Victoria on the way to my Masters in Education (Leadership Studies). One word I learned in my Ecological Leadership course that holds promise to teach us more about human connection and communication is the word: “Ecotone”.
Have You Met an Ecotone today?
According to this online dictionary, an ecotone is: “a transitional zone between two adjacent communities, containing species characteristics of either as well as other species occurring only within the zone”.
As soon as I understood this concept, it opened up a whole new world to me – which I hope to pass along to you! The application to communication and relationships is profound. Communication is about two people coming side by side, as two adjacent communities do, and they create, between them, a transitional zone – an ecotone.
The really special thing about this, is that an ecotone is actually a whole new zone. By virtue of two zones meeting, they create a whole new entity. When I was talking with my neighbour, Josie, she exclaimed: “Oh! It’s like a shoreline!”
Another aspect of an ecotone is there is a sense of tension where the two different communities meet. That tension is the entry zone of transformation. As your waters touch my land, we together create a shore.
There is some amount of fear in touching upon something different than ourselves and the human tendency, faced with tension, is to resist or deny it or blame it for being different.
However, it is what it is. And we are what we are. And our difference can be a whole new creation – in the land of both/and.
Keep your eyes out for some ecotones now. They are all around you!
"Whenever I have found myself stuck in the ways I relate to things, I return to nature. It is my principal teacher, and I try to open my whole being to what it has to say."
… Wynn Bullock
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Julia Menard, B.A., Cert. Con. Res., P.C.C.
Leadership & Conflict Coaching, Mediating, & Training