"Spit happens," says Levine in this practical book on conflict resolution, and he proposes a structured, seven-step collaborative model for dealing with it. A self-styled "resolutionist," Levine has 25 years of experience dealing with conflict as a lawyer, mediator, consultant, and trainer. He suggests that disputes can be resolved by practicing ten basic principles ranging from an "assumption of abundance" (there is more than enough to go around in this conflict) to a state of being what he calls "responsAble" (looking to oneself rather than to outside professionals for solutions). While much of Levine's model depends on a healthy state of optimism ("Remember. The glass is half full"), his process has real application not only for third-party mediators but also for individuals in the middle of a dispute, and it can be self-administered. He makes the process accessible, neatly summarizing each chapter and sprinkling his presentation liberally with cogent quotes and useful examples. Recommended for all public libraries.?Julie Denny, Alliance for Mediation & Conflict Resolution, Inc., Amenia, NY
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Questions for Discussion:
1. Why is resolution more useful than compromise or settlement?
2. What is your attitude about conflict? Share how conflict was dealt with in your early environment. Do you deal with conflict in the same way? Have you made a conscious choice about how you want to address conflict in your life?
3. What are the four main costs of conflict?
4. Do you think winning and being right gets in the way of fostering long term relationships?
5. Do you suffer from scarcity thinking? Do you think that it always must be either you or them, or is it possible for you to both get what you want?
6. If you have ever been involved in a lawsuit share how the litigation process affected the conflict in terms of time, money intensity, duration, and trust.
7. When was the last time posturing and withholding helped you quickly resolve a situation? Is there a current conflict in which you might show more vulnerability and greater disclosure?
8. Do you think it might be useful to think about the process of resolving conflict as an exercise in group learning? Why?
9. Is there an unresolved situation in your life that you could take more personal responsibility for resolving?
10. To give yourself insight into the value of listening spend part of a day in silence, just listening and observing what goes on in your workplace. Share what you hear and learn.
11. Practice the completion process. Focus on one internal situation of conflict, one at work, and one at home. Share what happened for you.
12. What is an agreement based on covenant? What is the best way to establish one?
13. Why are the laws of agreement so important?
14. What are the difference between the process of agreement; the phenomenon of agreement; and the artifact of agreement?
15. Use the agreement template to craft an agreement about a project that you want to make happen in the world. Do this with your reading group. Notice how the resources you need to support the project start to appear.
16. Practice the resolution model for 21 days (new thinking and new actions.) This is the time it takes to develop a new habit. After 21 days meet with your reading group to discuss the changes you see.
17. Look at all of your business relationships through the lens of agreement. Notice the implicit and explicit agreements that guide your actions. Craft new explicit agreements using the models in the book.
18. What are some of the essential qualities that a resolutionary has?
Courtesy of Berrett-Koehler Publishers BERRETT-KOEHLER STUDY GUIDE