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.
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.
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.
The answer that Guy and I have is that almost all of the problems that they identify that are in need of fixing our underlain by conflict problems and we haven’t learned how to deal successfully with intractable conflict. Let me illustrate.
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.
What I want to do here is try to give you an overview of the rationale behind the project, as well as kind of a quick preview of what to expect.
What I want to do here is try to give you an overview of the rationale behind the project, as well as kind of a quick preview of what to expect
The MOOS seminars all take what we call a complexity-oriented approach to intractability and responses to it. While our primary focus is on very large-scale conflicts (the kind that involve millions of people), much of what we have to say is also applicable to smaller scale conflicts.
Chances are you heard this wise advice from your Mom when she reminded you that if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
Making a positive first impression is important but it won’t seal the deal.
There are better and worse ways to do it. The Muse’s article on delivering bad news to your boss has lessons for talking to clients and colleagues too.
The federal judge overseeing about 200 opioid lawsuits ordered lawyers into private talks on Tuesday with one goal in mind: find a way to settle the cases, and quickly. U.S. District Judge Dan Polster of the Northern District of Ohio told a packed Cleveland federal courtroom that he wanted to avoid protracted discovery fights and trials in the multidistrict litigation.