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 linearresponses
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 Brians book, The Heart of Conflict
(Putnam 1996) we learn how to utilize the mediators toolbox to resolve conflicts of
all kinds. Among these tools are:
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
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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