Definition: Conflict Resolution

A conflict is resolved when the dispute ends without violence (physical, yes, but most likely, emotional) or retribution. Most civilized folks do this daily as a matter of habit. The retailer screws up our order. We bring it politely to his attention. He fixes the problem. We thank him. He smiles and returns “you’re welcome.” […]

Going to War

Juxtaposition … that great literary technique of masters like Faulkner … permeated our lives at The Teagarden Group yesterday. At Rotary, we honored Veterans. Their pictures adorned our meeting hall: recent inductees to the North Carolina Military Veterans Hall of Fame. In the afternoon, we talked with Patricia Shafer, founder of Mothering Across Continents and […]

Read Fiction

We often get asked: “What should I read to get good at conflict resolution?” First, we point folks to our post on the baker’s dozen reads for resolvers. That post gives our top twelve essential books to read if you strive to become a really great conflict resolver. We call it the baker’s dozen because […]

Essential Reading: The Baker’s Dozen

Seeking an education in conflict resolution? Start here … The Handbook of Conflict Resolution, Peter Coleman, Morton Deutsch, & Eric Marcus, editors Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson & Joseph Grenny Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher & William Ury Negotiating the Nonnegotiable by Daniel Shapiro The Heart and […]

What’s the value of a third party?

Wherever two or more people work together, conflict is inherent. We often handle conflict in destructive, rather than constructive ways. When conflict has derailed a negotiation process, a group project, a business partnership, a family, or a friendship, the simple presence of a third party improves the behavior of the parties involved. When an outsider […]

What We’re Learning

Winning Decisions: Getting it right the first time, by J. Edward Russo and Paul J. H. Shoemaker Today’s Challenge: Learn How to Frame Reframing is a simple cognitive technique fundamental to perspective-taking and seeing options. It works like this. Think of the ubiquitous water bottles that most of us carry around these days. Plastic ones, […]

The Heart of Conflict

When most of us finally get fed up with an active conflict, we go looking for new ways of doing things (because what we’re doing, saying, thinking, avoiding, etc. obviously isn’t working). We get a book. We ask a friend. We hire a pro. Often nothing changes. Why? The advice we get in these moments […]

Fie on Goodness

Frederick Lowe’s lyrics to this tune from the Broadway musical Camelot tell us a lot about why we stay in a fight, or start a fight, or join in a fight: it’s fun. Being in fight mode makes us feel alive. The Knights who croon the tune lament that since King Arthur brought peace to […]