Tag Archives: conflict resolution

Integrating Conflict Resolution Skills: More Tips for the Traveler

Following up on my most recent entry, here are some tips from colleagues in response to the question “how did you integrate the skills and concepts of collaboration?”. These tips focus on practicing the communication skills necessary to defuse situations … Continue reading

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Making Collaboration a Way of LIfe

Resolving conflict collaboratively is a way of life. Some have likened it to learning a new language. It does not  happen overnight. It requires compassion, courage and perseverance to venture beyond the familiar roles of victim, villain and hero. Collaboration falls into … Continue reading

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Conflict Resolution Lessons from Lord of the Rings: I Will Take the Ring (Getting Started)

Conflict resolution entails a journey into the unknown. No matter how much we prepare, we can never know for sure how another will react to us or respond to our message. Not surprisingly, this uncertainty leads many to avoid conflict … Continue reading

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Who Am I? Part 2: Jean Valjean and Inner Conflict

In her book, Fierce Conversations, Susan Scott writes that “all conversations are with myself and sometimes involve other people”. The same can be said of conflict – that all interpersonal conflict is accompanied by internal conflict, in which our values … Continue reading

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Who Am I? Part 1: Inspector Javert’s Suicide and Identity in Conflict.

A recurring theme in Les Miserables is the far from rhetorical question “who am I?” The protagonist, Jean Valjean, is thrice confronted by that question and his decisions define him as heroic. His nemesis, Inspector Javert, however, is unable to … Continue reading

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Conflict Lessons from Lord of the Rings: Faramir and the Fallen Foe

One of the highlights of my conflict resolution career was a national conference presentation entitled Conflict Lessons from The Lord of the Rings. This combined my passion for conflict resolution with my love of Tolkien’s powerful trilogy. The session explored … Continue reading

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Would John Wayne Negotiate?

The clock ticks as high noon looms. Marshall Will Kane, abandoned by his townsfolk and facing overwhelming odds, ponders his next move. Does he board the noon train with his wife or does he stay and confront the man sworn … Continue reading

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Mediation in the Movies

Ever since I began mediating in 1991, I wondered why there weren’t television shows or movies about mediators. As I began to understand the dynamics of conflict resolution, I realized why: “in story, nothing moves but for conflict” (Robert McKee … Continue reading

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The Time and Place for Apologies

The following is an excerpt from my book, The Joy of Conflict Resolution. I decided to include this topic because I had seen so many situations in which “I’m sorry” simply fanned the flames instead of defusing a confrontation. Genuine … Continue reading

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“I’m Sorry” – Does it Calm the Waters or Fan the Flames?

I had already decided to blog on apologies when this headline jumped out at me over breakfast. The newspaper article referred to a high-profile case in which Robert Picton was convicted of murdering numerous sex-trade workers in the Vancouver area … Continue reading

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