The Challenge of Complex, Intractable Conflicts

We believe that society’s chronic inability to constructively handle intractable conflict constitutes a threat to human welfare that is at least as serious as that posed by climate change, infectious disease, or any of today’s other big social, political, economic, and environmental challenges.

Business As Usual 5 – The Interplay of Reason and Emotion

I’ve been teaching a class at the University of Colorado on conflict skills. At the beginning of the semester, I ask students what they’re good at when they engage in conflict, and what they’re not good at – what they might like to learn how to do better.

The Return of “I’ll Fight You for It” Rules

Years and years ago, long before the Internet, I remember reading a political cartoon that stuck with me, written by Jules Fieffer.  I have been looking for it ever since and I can’t find it. So I broke down and did a lousy job of redrawing it. 

Pick a Mood, any Mood – Just Pick a Good One

There aren’t many benefits to being in a bad mood, even if that’s your reliable, long-standing default mode. Being in a bad mood can make you less effective, less open to creative solutions, and due to stress, it can affect your health.  Most peoples’ jobs have a degree of stress, some much more than others.

When Is A Case Ripe For Mediation?

I would say all of those cases were ripe for mediation at the time I was asked to mediate them. How can that be? Simple. In each case, the attorneys/parties had the right information, and a strong enough desire to settle, in order to make good decisions. Could those cases, which were further into the judicial process, have been resolved sooner? Possibly. But in retrospect, I don’t think they were ready until we mediated them.

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