Changing the Conversation (2015)

Changing the Conversation: The 17 Principles of Conflict Resolution (2015)

I learned about Changing the Conversation: The 17 Principles of Conflict Resolution (2015) when I read an April 24, 2015 New York Times article entitled: “A William Forsythe Dancer Moves From Toe-Tapping to Handshaking.”

A Book List Review for Changing the Conversation (2015) at the Toronto Public Library website reads )I’ve broken the longest text into shorter paragraphs for ease of online reading):

“Conflict generally leads to endless cycles of attack, counterattack, and more conflict as we fail to get to the root of the underlying problems. Conflict mediator Caspersen offers 17 principles of conflict resolution in a highly graphic book that juxtaposes typical reactions and suggested alternatives that will ease tension and lead to resolution. The reader is encouraged to see conflict as a moment of opportunity.

“Instead of hearing an attack, which makes you ignore additional information that may be offered, listen for what is behind the words. Instead of acting on assumptions, test them. Instead of adopting a rigid stance, develop curiosity. Instead of ignoring the possibility of future conflict, expect and plan for future conflict, including a more productive response.

“Caspersen offers examples of conflict from arenas as varied as home, school, and work as well as exercises to help resolve frictions. The objective is to facilitate listening and speaking, acknowledge emotions, and look for ways forward out of conflict.

“–Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2010 Booklist”

[End of text]

May 5, 2015 Toronto Star article describes conflict resolution course at St. Stephen’s Community House

A May 5, 2015 Toronto Star article is entitled: “Conflict resolution course changed Premier Kathleen Wynne’s life: Premier Kathleen Wynne, one of the early graduates of conflict resolution training at a community agency, describes how it changed her life.”

The opening paragraphs read:

“Long before Kathleen Wynne became the premier of Ontario, a Liberal MPP or a Toronto school board trustee, she signed up for conflict resolution training at St. Stephen’s Community House, a social service agency in the Kensington market.

“The non-profit organization had developed a groundbreaking program to teach volunteers how to resolve neighbourhood disputes. Trainees learned to mediate everything from property-line disagreements to battles over pets.

“It was a turbulent time in Wynne’s life. Her marriage was collapsing. She hadn’t found her calling despite a master’s degree in linguistics and another in adult education. Her political instincts were beginning to stir.

“ ‘I found myself drawn to conflict and — more than I would care to admit — I was inflaming those conflicts,’ she told fellow graduates, staff and supporters of St. Stephen’s House at a celebration of the 30th anniversary of its mediation program last week. ‘I was excited to channel my innate understanding of conflict in a positive direction.

” ‘It is not an overstatement to say my life has never been the same.’ ”

[End of excerpt]


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