Gini Nelson\’s Engaging Conflicts

September 21, 2006

Five Philosophical Propositions on Conflict Resolution, Part Two

Kenneth Cloke’s new book, The Crossroads of Conflict: A Journey Into the Heart Of Dispute Resolution, is a book by an experienced mediator about many things, including his conclusions after many years of a rich and varied practice. Ken will be interviewed this fall and early winter in Engaging Conflicts Today, and has given permission to excerpt portions of his book here. Here’s a partial list of philosophical assumptions he makes about conflict — the earlier propositions were posted earlier in the week:

6. Chronic conflicts are systemic, and all systems, be they personal, familial, relational, organizational, social, economic, or political, defend themselves against change, even when it is essential for their survival.

7. Every conflict is holographic and systemic, so that each part contains and recapitulates the whole.

8. Every conflict reveals an internal crossroads, with each path branching and leading off in radically different directions.

9. Every conflict offers opportunities to evolve to higher levels of skill and awareness in how people respond to their opponents and problems.

10. At the center or heart of every conflict lies a pathway to resolution, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

Ken’s book can be purchased directly from his publisher, Janis Publications:


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