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Conflict Resolution – 101:There is a lesson here

July 21, 2020

The good news for me is that my little book: Ironing It Out: Seven Simple Steps for Resolving Conflict has been updated and is available again through Amazon and the publisher: The bad news is that the writer, me – someone who is supposedly knowledgeable about conflict and resolution – happens to live in an area that is rife with conflict and lawsuits and legal fees and court expenses, etc. Personally, I have come to peace with the fact that there are some disputes which just cannot be resolved peaceably. There are some disputes where the parties have to be told what to do (by a judge or jury). I guess these pending civil cases which dominate our legal system cannot be fairly settled.

Fortunately, not everybody or every firm or every government organization at all levels agrees that conflicts cannot be resolved without the expense and the trauma that litigation brings. My little book on conflict resolution has sold thousands of copies worldwide – as reasonable people seem to want an alternative way of making troublesome problems go away. The first published edition of Ironing it Out was dated 1992. The most recent, fully updated edition (the 5th) came out in June and is dated 2020.

And, wow, do we have conflict rampant among many crises now facing the world (and our region). Litigation doesn’t seem that important when compared to life and death. I don’t presume that I am qualified to do too much about the Pandemic, or fairness in law enforcement or fairness in the administration of justice, but I do feel qualified to help lessen unnecessary conflict (destructive in its own way) lessen.

Sometimes I wish folks would follow the seven simple steps: “Remove their masks, identify the real problem(s), give up a “must-win” attitude, develop possible options for resolution, select one, powerfully communicate, and finally acknowledge and preserve the value in the relationship”.

It might work here. It has worked most of the time it has been tried. It sure doesn’t cost much to try it.

I hope we can all be safe and, while we worry about getting sick, maybe we can worry a bit less about the conflict.

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