HeartWorks: Brian Muldoon, Consultant, Whitefish, Montana
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- THE BODHISATTVA WARRIOR: The Way of Compassionate Confrontation



Training Curriculum

mandelbrot.jpg (21162 bytes)Managing Conflict

There is an important distinction between disputes, which simply involve differences of fact or opinion, and real conflict, which is a passionate struggle to prevail over another. A dispute is linear—responses are basically predictable and proportional. Conflict, however, is a chaotic system. It is disruptive, disproportional and unpredictable. Learning to manage conflict is both an art and a science.

Using HeartWorks’ copyrighted "Twelve Degrees of Attachment" evaluation instrument, we first examine the extent to which each of us can get "hooked" by conflict and how to undo those attachments. Then, making liberal use of Brian’s book, The Heart of Conflict (Putnam 1996) we learn how to utilize the mediator’s toolbox to resolve conflicts of all kinds. Among these tools are:

  • bookcover.gif (15359 bytes)Containment. How to keep conflict from spilling out all over the place.

  • Confrontation. How to address uncomfortable facts and difficult issues without causing others to take it personally.

  • Caucusing. The ground rules for working separately with the parties, as well as for conducting joint sessions.

  • The Final Inch. Bringing closure once the parties have had their say.

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