The long tail applies to more than just business. It applies to our most basic needs, such as health and safety. The sooner we invest in positive prevention-oriented programs, the better off as a society we’ll be.
The long tail…
The long tail refers to the statistical property that a larger share of population rests within the tail of a probability distribution, especially when it comes to buying patterns. Popularized in the book of the same name, this distribution curve is also thought of as the power law or 80/20 rule (Pareto principle).
Now lets shift gears away from business and think of how the long tail applies to our children.
The societal benefit of teaching conflict problem-solving skills sooner that later hit home a few years ago when I saw this Statistics Canada report. Spanning several decades of research, the study found a strong relationship between the age at which the first court referral took place (of a young offender) and the overall number of referrals in the court career. In fact, it is a long tail
Is there any question why need more prevention programs?
What to do?
I feel a lucky guy. Over the last decade, I’ve volunteered in numerous school-based programs oriented to conflict prevention/resolution. Continually, I’m surprised and heartened by the potential of youth, to learn and apply social and citizenship skills, including how to resolve conflicts. And to do it starting at a very young age! Where I live, there are many fine programs that help youth move in positive directions. Here’s a few (and maybe ideas for you?):
- Roots of Empathy program – a program that uses babies to foster empathy in adolescents through classroom visits and intervention
- PeaceMakers program – a The South Island Dispute Resolution Centre program that introduces conflict management, communication and anger awareness to youth in grades 3 – 5
- Dianne Gossey’s Restitution program; I’ve been amazed to watch as entire public schools (staff, students, parents) buy-in to, and implement, this approach to conflict management
- peer mediation sessions among young teens
- restorative justice circles; offering young offenders a positive way to take accountability for their actions
3 Questions for you and your workplace
- Is there a workplace conflict management program in place? (where “our hope is to support employees to find the opportunities for personal and organizational growth that conflict provides)
- Conflict is normal. Disputes happen. When disputes arise, what structure and values for appropriate dispute resolution do you have in place?
- How are you nurturing the collaborative habit?
Photo credit: WellspringCS