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 adversaries participate in meaningful dialogue and reach satisfying agreements, and when power is exercised with and for others by satisfying interests and jointly solving common problems.

Globally, we are mired in political conflicts filled with incivility, bitterness, hatred and personal attacks, leading to increased stereotyping and discrimination, divisive language and antagonistic, hate-filled conversations that diminish our ability to work together to solve problems.

Moreover, all conflicts, no matter how petty or personal, possess veiled political features that inform their evolution and eventual outcome, in which people quarrel over money, compete for scarce resources, and disagree over how decisions are made. Politically and relationally, we need to design ways of discussing our differences that will lead to learning, collaboration, empathy, mutual understanding and problem solving.

Learning Objectives:

Participants will learn:

  • What makes political and relational conflicts so uncivil and contentious, and how to transform them.
  • How to discuss political and relational differences without becoming biased and adversarial.
  • How to design interest-based approaches to chronic political and relational conflicts.