What's Happening In Conflict Resolution [01.19.15]

In This Corner: The Conflict Paradox

By Lynne Kinnucan  
With his newest book, The Conflict Paradox, Dr. Bernie Mayer joins the likes of Aristotle, Voltaire, Chesterton and Escher in their fascination with paradox: the contradiction that is not.

The Conflict Paradox is a book infinitely rich in its variety, worth reading again and again as the reader’s understanding grows and reshapes itself in interaction with it.  However, it is a disaster if you are the sort of person who underlines the important parts of a work. My own copy looks like it went through the printer backwards and forwards. 

Dr. Mayer’s goal in writing the book was to “challenge the fundamental way we think about conflict itself.” And he has done it.  Focusing on the “polarized, bifurcated view we take of conflict,” he notes that the more aggressive the conflict, the more we are apt to regress to primitive, oppositional thinking, and from there to greater conflict. With a deeper understanding, we can see that the assumed polarizations are not only part of each other but, in fact, need each other to be complete (think DNA strands).  
The book is structured around the seven core dilemmas posed in any conflict:

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