Introducing: Dealing with Defensiveness online course!

October 31, 2022

An illustration of a theatre marquee declaring: New Online Course!

We are proud to announce the freshly available Dealing with Defensiveness online course.

We all deal with defensiveness, and it is often the catalyst for conversations going badly.

But that’s because they are being aggressive, and difficult, and wrong, you might be thinking. Whoa whoa whoa: we hear you, and maybe – but maybe not, too. While our flames of defensiveness can get fuelled by others at times, it is also an opportunity to discover something about ourselves – not just the other person.

Introducing our teacher

We are fortunate to have Janet Schmidt as our guide in this collective quest to better work with defensiveness. Janet is a mediator who got her start in 1986 and has since facilitated difficult conversations in roles ranging from victim-offender situations to the everyday workplace. Beyond her extensive work in the field, she teaches conflict resolution here at Mediation Services and at both the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg. This online course is an exceptional opportunity to learn from Janet’s wealth of expertise as an experienced mediator.

Moreover, conflict will always be with us. One of the things that makes it so difficult to work with difference is the energy of defensiveness. We get our back up, we shut down, and we stop listening. We see others as the enemy. We feel personally attacked. We dig our heels in and get ready to fight. We are quick to lash out. It is often this fiery response that causes our own suffering as well as inflicts suffering on others.

What is defensiveness?

We all want people to see us in a particular way. While there may be a malevolent few who aspire to be evil villains, the vast majority of us want to be seen in a positive light. We want others to regard us as good and to think well of us – no matter what mistakes we might make along this messy process called living.

When something happens that causes us to perceive that this positive regard is being questioned or threatened, we become defensive.

But is this perception always right? What about all those times that we say something and it gets taken a completely different way than we intended?

What and how we communicate has a very real effect on…well, the effect of what is heard. When people criticize our work, for example, many of us naturally get defensive. We hear an attack on ourselves as a person, not a critique of the work itself. Then again, there are certain ways that feedback can be given that will make us much more defensive.

In this course, we look at both sides of defensiveness: when it bubbles forth from within us and how we can avoid sending messages that trigger it in other people.

An illustration of a laptop displaying an online course

We are excited to have Dealing with Defensiveness as part of the core of our online courses, now available on-demand. This means that you can enrol anytime (such as right now!). Upon enrolment, you get instant access to the online lectures, resources, and exercises. This timely and timeless content is literally at your fingertips for you to explore at your own pace.

The course will explore the following questions:

  • Why do we get defensive?
  • How does defensiveness work in our brains and bodies?
  • What are the internal triggers that provoke defensiveness in us?
  • Once we get defensive, how do we typically respond?
  • What are the external factors that increase our defensiveness?
  • What is the antidote to defensiveness?
  • How can we better respond to our own defensiveness?
  • How can we better respond to other people when we see that they’re getting defensive?

When we feel defensive there is an opportunity for us to learn something about ourselves and our relationships.

Let’s dive into this work together. Join us and register for Dealing with Defensiveness today!

If you have questions,
please don’t hesitate to call.


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

For The Latest News & Updates