Conflict Leadership - the eight dimensions

#93 Eight Dimensions of Conflict Leadership

I have been talking with my OnConflictPodcast partner Julia Menard about the dimensions of conflict leadership. These are the dimensions of understanding and action that empower one to lead an organization to greater competence in conflict. Below, I outline eight dimensions of conflict leadership as I understand them. There are, no doubt, other ways to slice the apple. 1. Responsibility […]

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Being Collaborative - image of rowers

#92 Being Collaborative — What It Means

Being collaborative is a guiding principle in many cooperative approaches to dispute resolution and conflict engagement. It is based on an underlying set of beliefs – primarily that certain forms of cooperation will lead to better outcomes for both parties. In this blog, I flush out how I further understand what it means to be

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Team Health - image with medical person with Stethoscope

#91 Team Health Builds Conflict Competence

Team health means that the building blocks of an effective team are in place. Without team health I find that unproductive conflicts are more likely to arise. All in all, conflict competence will be constrained. Conflict competence refers to how well an organization, team, or individual responds to conflict in all its manifestations.  Below, I

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Bad Actor: photo of man with arms crossed looking out at us

# 90 Bookended Negotiation for Dealing with Bad Actors

How do you effectively respond to someone who is harming others or someone who is having a negative influence on the performance of others? Someone who will not engage with you in a meaningful manner? In other words, bad actors. You just can’t get that person to the table… Perhaps powerful backup is called for.

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The importance of speaking up - photo of two birds, one chatting to the other

#89 The Importance of Speaking Up

Listening well is often considered the hallmark of effective communication in conflict dynamics, but speaking one’s mind well is also important. Meaningful communication always flows in both directions. Bernie Mayer discussed the importance of speaking up in Episode 6 of the On Conflict Podcast. Referring to himself, Bernie elevated the importance of speaking up: “The

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The Conflict Journey - Co-Creating Peace - Gordon White

#88 Sustaining Peace With Co-Creation

In an episode of the On Conflict Podcast, author and Reos partner Adam Kahane quotes a line from the Broadway musical Rent: ‘The opposite of war is creation.’ Adam suggests that although ending war may be enough to begin peace, sustaining peace requires that we replace war with something constructive. For instance, formerly adversarial political

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Making It Personal - an image of two lmale lions facing each other

#87 When ‘Making It Personal’ Adds Value

You’ve heard people say, “Let’s not make it personal” or “It’s not personal.” There’s a cluster of positive intentions behind these statements about making it personal; for example, a wish to stay focused on problem solving and not blame others, or an intention to prevent a conversation from degrading into personal attacks.  However, in the

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The existential reality of differences is the basis of conflict

#86 Differences: A Way to Understand Conflict

I find the notion of differences helpful in generating a universal understanding of what conflict is. In a marriage, one person might like to shop for vegetables, and the other for general groceries. One may prefer vacuuming and the other doing laundry. And so, shopping and household chores become divided by inclination and interest. We

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"He's A Liar" – Why People Say It When It's Not True

#85 “He’s A Liar” – Why People Say It When It’s Not True

Reporting false information is not always a lie. It is frequently due to errors of perception and memory that are described in the previous blog. Therefore, the statement “He’s a liar” is often factually incorrect. As often as not, people unknowingly rather than knowingly report false information. There is a rich irony here. To say

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