Articles Posted in Dispute Resolution

Is civility in our society spiraling downward? It often feels like that nowadays.  This does not have to be the case in our families and in our own circles of colleagues and friends if we pay attention to how we are engaging in the resolution of different points of view.   Civility is more than just politeness.  It is possible to disagree with dignity and respect.  Yes, it is possible to go high rather than low when a challenge presents itself. Continue Reading

How can words or minor interpersonal tensions lead to major trauma and in some cases national trauma?  As a conflict professional, I am constantly intrigued by the power of words, actions and inaction. An act or expression may or may not be intended to cause harm.  Even in a close-knit family, we sometimes do not realize the harm.  Once an initial event happens, how do we avoid escalating the harm?  Continue Reading

Last week a ‘talking stick’ reportedly broke the stalemate over the government shutdown.  Just what is a talking stick and how can it be used as a means of working through impasse in a negotiation? Continue Reading

Does Blame help reach a result in the negotiation process?  In my opinion, it is counter-productive.  This week we saw a lot of blame coming out of Washington D.C., in a negotiation without resolution and an eventual shut down.  This led me to think about my own work and what happens when blame is assigned and then continues as the focus.  During a negotiation, the parties do need to take responsibility for their own actions.  This can be done in a productive way without shaming or humiliating the other party. There is a distinction between assigning and taking responsibility and what happens when the parties stay at the level of blame.  Continue Reading