Dealing with the Inescapable Conflict of Life

Community Voices of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette
October 5, 2011

Ann Begler has been in the conflict business for nearly 40 years as a lawyer and now as a mediator, facilitator, organizational consultant, and conflict coach. She identifies herself as an Anti-Antagonist. She says, “I’m a conflict navigator and resolver. I hold no judgment about the person who exhibits antagonism. In fact it’s my job to help people work through even the most difficult emotions in order to move forward, and that includes working positively with people who are, at times, consumed with antagonism. It does mean, though, that I’m willing to help people acknowledge and work against the core of antagonism itself — that deep hatred that keeps us stuck, that harms us and harms others.”

As part of Begler’s calling to resolve conflict, she shares her thoughts about conflict with the legal community. Her writing on conflict is essential in light of the fact that we can’t escape conflict in society today. “It’s always present in our lives,” she says. What is important is “How we understand conflict and how we channel our responses determine whether conflict becomes a creative force that produces constructive change, or becomes one of our most debilitating experiences .”

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