7 Symptoms & 7 Antidotes


Kweykwayhttp://www.kweykway.caKweykway is a grassroots First Nations company owned and operated by Denise Findlay who belongs to the Squamish Nation. Kweykway specializes in restorative processes that support organizational and community development. 

We bring a life time of experience and are dedicated to building capacity the areas of community engagement, childcare and parenting, influencing change, creating strong collaborative relationships, minimizing the negative affects of conflict, minimizing incidents of aggression and violencee and improving overall communication while restoring a sense of hope, healing and wellness. 

Our approach is gentle and effective and we strive to preserve the integrity of the communities we work with.

7 Symptoms of Lateral Violence



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By Denise Findlay, 19/6/2012


7 Symptoms of Lateral Violence

Since folks are always asking me to define Lateral Violence I thought I'd put list of some the symptoms together. People want to know if they are experiencing Lateral Violence. "Is it just me or am I imagining things", people will say. The thing about Lateral Violence is that it is a systemic issue. It does not belong to one person in the system. It is nobody's fault. However, if we can identify the symptoms that exist within our system we can begin the process of coming together to discuss solutions. How do we begin to live and work together differently? In a way that is good for all? This is where we would benefit from focusing. 

But first, let's identify the top 7 Symptoms of Lateral Violence!

1. A Preoccupation With Who Is Doing What To Whom - Discussions and conflicts revolve around stories about who is doing what to whom as opposed to what is trying to happen. We are caught up in a cycle of placing blame on each other. We are distracted from finding a solution.

2. Inability to Transcend Victim/Abuser Roles -- The roles of Victim and Abuser continue to be populated by different folks at different times within the system. Folks become over identified with these roles. We can't see the forest for the trees. We are unable to discuss these roles from an objective place in order to retire them from our system.

3. Marginalized Voices -- Unpopular voices are marginalized within our system. We do not have an environment of trust that invites all voices to be heard on a matter. Folks fear reprisal for speaking out or sharing opinions.

4. Internalized Voice of Oppression -- We have internalized the learned messages of the oppressor and have allowed this to shape our belief system. We are not conscious of this internal voice that keeps us and others stuck. We are selves become the oppressor. 

5. Admiration of the Problem -- We are focused on the size of our problems and have become overwhelmed and stuck. Conversations revolved around the problem.

6. Complaining & Gossiping -- People are stuck in a cycle of complaining and have not developed the capacity to ask for what they need in a healthy manner. Folks gossip about each other as opposed to working things out directly.

7. Revenge -- Power is abused and folks revenge on those in positions of power. Revenge is carried out in subtle and to so subtle ways such as sabotage, gossip, building alliances, shunning, shamming, etc.

Although this list seems very negative it's a good start. It's about creating awareness. Once we can see that things are not working any more we can begin to create conscious change. We can do something different. Next week I will reveal 7 Antidotes to Lateral Violence.

7 Antiodotes to Lateral Violence



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By Denise Findlay, 23/6/2012


7 Antidotes to Lateral Violence

As a follow up to last week's tip here is a list of some antidotes to Lateral Violence...

1. Increase Positivity -- There's lots of research on the benefits of positivity. It's linked to high levels of productivity and physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellness. Folks thrive in environments characterized by good feelings, high levels of trust and a sense of overall wellness. Spend time engaging folks in activities and dialogue that focuses on what's working and the strengths of our system.

2. Reduce Toxins -- Work on a plan to reduce the use of Blame, Contempt, Defensiveness and Stonewalling. Toxins take their toll over time on the health and well being of our communities. They prevent us from resolving conflicts and keep us stuck in a negative cycle of finger pointing. The first step is to become aware of them and then begin to name them in a non-blaming way when the show up!

3. Develop Awareness -- Self-awareness and awareness of others is key to improving communication and our relationships. When we are able to self reflect and develop conscious awareness we build our capacity to be at choice rather than in a reactive mode. In other words we become empowered to make different choices by reflecting on what has worked or not worked in the past and what we want to do differently moving forward. Mastery of reflection and ongoing development of awareness is a critical leadership skill.

4. Address Issues Directly -- Wherever possible encourage folks to work their problems out directly. Whether it's between two people or a group of people the more we are able to come together to address issues directly there greater chance for resolution and ultimately change. Create intentional spaces where we can start to address important issues together.

5. Carry Power Consciously -- Each of us has a unique power that stems from who we are in the world. Power is contextual and fluctuates so I invite everyone to reflect on where they hold power and begin to use it consciously. Become aware of folks around you and the impact you want to have. This is especially important for leaders who want to build trust within their communities.

6. Develop Role Flexibility -- Become aware of the different roles at play within your system and notice which roles you gravitate to you. Are you the mediator, peacemaker, martyr, caregiver, leader, hero, victim, abuser or villain? If you always get pulled into the role of saying all the tough things then you may need a break. Perhaps it's time for someone else to carry that role for a while. Remember that you don't belong to these roles. Role belong to our system and we must be able to step away from roles that are no longer serving us and step into roles that our systems needs in order to thrive.

7. Respond to Triggering -- Educate yourself and others about how to recognize the signs of triggering. If we are triggered we are not capable of having a skillful conversation. We actually need to take a break and revisit the conversation at a later date. At best we can only soothe one another until the physiological signs of triggering subside and we begin to self regulate again. Often, unskillful conflicts and hurt feelings happen when we are in a triggered state.

Although this list is not exhaustive, it a good start. By no means are these things easy to implement but with practice and determination we can change the patterns in our relationships. It is possible to transform our community's one relationship at a time.

Be kind to yourself and others.

Define Lateral Violence

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Denise Findlay, Owner of Kweykway Consulting speaks about how to Define Lateral Violence

... about lots of 
PeopleCare skills

Denise Findlay

Facilitator, Coach and Consultant
Owner of Kweykway Consulting

Denise is a First Nations Facilitator who weaves together years of professional and personal experience working with people. 

Her education is an integration of various disciplines in the human development field. 

Denise’s journey has led her to working in First Nations communities throughout Canada, including her own community The Squamish Nation.  
She founded Chameleon Strategies in 2003 and launched the transformational workshop on Lateral Violence, The Crab In the Bucket. 

Denise’s awareness and courage combined make her a powerful and effective Facilitator capable of addressing sensitive issues. 

Denise currently works with the Squamish Nation as the Keyworker providing parent support to families who have children with FASD and other developmental disorders. 

Denise is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Education at Simon Fraser University and is enrolled in Advanced Studies at the Neufeld Institute (www.neufeldinstitute.com) where she is learning to apply the developmental attachment paradigm in the healing of communities. 

Denise also holds a Diploma in Business Management from Capilano University, an Instructor’s Certificate from the Justice Institute, and a BC Provincial Instructors Diploma from VCC. 

 She is one of few First Nations Certified Professional Coaches in Canada, is certified through the Coaches Training Institute (CTI), and has advanced training in Systems Coaching. 

Denise has spent a significant amount of time studying Process Psychology as it applies to relationships and groups navigating change and experiencing conflict with Dr. Stephen Schuiteveorder (www.processingconsultating.org) as her mentor. 

As well, Denise draws on Dr. Martin Brokenleg’s Circle of Courage model for reclaiming youth.

Denise is fiercely committed to building the capacity of groups during times of change and believes that all people, when leading with their heart and from a place of integrity, have unlimited potential regardless of their circumstances. 

Whether working with individuals, relationships, teams or communities, her goal is to increase the client’s capacity to transcend self-imposed limitations. 

 To elicit existing creativity, skills, and potential from within each client, Denise uses her gifts of intuition, directness and insight in combination with her unique ability as a professional coach and facilitator. 

 Her approach goes beyond routine problem solving models and leads clients to source their own wisdom and creativity. 

Clients discover and implement their own solutions leading to sustainable change that is meaningful.

Denise was born and raised in North Vancouver to a mother of European decent, and a father of Coast Salish heritage. 

 She currently resides in West Vancouver on the Capilano reserve with her husband Jay, her sons Jake and Max, and their dog Heidi and cats Marshmellow and Buster. They enjoy a gentle pace together as a family.