Category Archives: Conflict Management

The Role of a Mediator

A blog post by Katherine Graham about the role of a mediator recently came across my desk. Ms. Graham makes a good point that mediators should avoid the very natural tendency to pull the parties toward a solution. She writes … Continue reading

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American Negotiating Style: Learning from Diplomacy

What can we learn from the practice of diplomacy that will help us negotiate? Whether it is natural resources, workplace conflict, or local policy disputes there are some golden rules to help us. The Public Diplomacy Council recently published an … Continue reading

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Choosing, Using, and Being a Facilitator

“In control but not the judge.” This is how one facilitator described his role in a restorative justice meeting (Borton, 2013). This description is a classic statement about the role of a facilitator. In Borton’s study, facilitators agreed on the … Continue reading

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The Power of Collaboration

We often hear about the power of collaboration. It is good to find examples. One example appeared in a recent issue of Public Administration Review. The short article by David Wang is entitled “A Simple Lesson about the Power of … Continue reading

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Choosing the Right Representative

I have been reading an interesting history of a slice of diplomacy from the Second World War. President Roosevelt used personal representatives–often informally–to help him understand and coordinate with our allies. This led me to thinking about choosing the right representatives … Continue reading

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Keys to Negotiation 13: Relationships, Trustworthiness, and Personal Bonds

We often say of negotiation that it is important to establish personal connections. Sometimes this is interpreted to mean that we should get to know the other stakeholders, maybe through social interactions. Social interactions are certainly important, but recent research … Continue reading

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Threats in Negotiation

Often, when we interview parties in a dispute, we find that they have focused on the threats posed by their adversaries. In these situations, it is important to step back and examine the threats as objectively as possible. A recent … Continue reading

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Seeing the Big Picture: Strategy

Seeing the big picture in the midst of battle, or a rancorous negotiation, is difficult but important. A brief article on the website American Diplomacy traces the strategic consequences of three battles (Waterloo, The Somme, and Omaha Beach) to show … Continue reading

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Doing the Impossible: Changing the Organization

“Only when certain political and organizational preconditions are met” can substantial improvements be made in big organizations. At least that is the conclusion suggested by a recent article in Public Administration Review. The authors suggest six preconditions (pg. 238): Support from … Continue reading

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Workplace Conflict: A Developing Story

When did you first start thinking about conflict resolution techniques for the workplace? If you say you first tuned into methods to resolve conflict sometime in the 1980s your are not far off according to a new study in the … Continue reading

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