Join us in a Conversation on “Designing Systems to Prevent Chronic Social, Economic, and Political Conflicts” by Kenneth Cloke on July 9 At 2:00 PM EST/EDT. Register here.
In all conflicts, there is a better outcome than winning and losing, a more successful process than accusing and blaming, and a deeper relationship than exercising power over and against others. These better outcomes are achieved when both sides win and no one loses, when former adversaries participate in meaningful dialogue and reach satisfying agreements, and when power is exercised with and for others by jointly solving common problems.
Moreover, nearly all conflicts, no matter how petty or personal, possess veiled social, economic, and political features that inform their evolution and eventual outcome. These include social stereotyping, discrimination and prejudice; economic selfishness, callousness and greed; and political hierarchy, bureaucracy and autocracy. Even in entirely interpersonal conflicts, people may quarrel over money, compete for scarce resources, or disagree over the way decisions are being made, reflecting larger chronic social, economic and political conflicts. These can become fertile sources of methods and techniques for preventing future disputes.
These higher outcomes are deepened when we collaboratively redesign the communications, processes, relationships, cultures, organizations, institutions and environments that generate chronic conflicts. These higher order outcomes can be achieved not only by individuals, couples, families, students and next-door neighbors, but entire societies, complex economies, and global political institutions. Doing so will require a “conflict revolution.”
Kenneth Cloke is Director of the Center for Dispute Resolution and a mediator, arbitrator, facilitator, coach, consultant and , specializing in communication, negotiation, and resolving complex multi-party disputes, including marital, divorce, family, community, grievance and workplace disputes, collective bargaining negotiations, organizational and school conflicts, sexual harassment, discrimination, and public policy disputes; and designing preventative conflict resolution systems.
He is an internationally recognized speaker and author of Mediation: Revenge and the Magic of Forgiveness; Mediating Dangerously: The Frontiers of Conflict Resolution; The Crossroads of Conflict: A Journey into the Heart of Dispute Resolution; Conflict Revolution (1s and-2nd Editions); and The Dance of Opposites: Explorations in Mediation, Dialogue and Conflict Resolution Systems Design; and co-author with Joan Goldsmith of Thank God It’s Monday! 14 Values We Need to Humanize the Way We Work; Resolving Personal and Organizational Conflict; The End of Management and the Rise of Organizational Democracy; The Art of Waking People Up: Cultivating Awareness and Authenticity at Work; and Resolving Conflicts At Work: Ten Strategies For Everyone On The Job (1st-3rd Editions).
Please click here to read Ken’s complete bio.