Resolving Personal and Organizational Conflict
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Learn how personal and organizational conflicts can be resolved by listening closely to the 'stories' people tell when they are in conflict, understanding why people tell their stories in the ways they do, and creating a third story that brings them together. This visionary book is written by Kenneth Cloke and Joan Goldsmith, two renowned mediators, who have used the narrative structure method successfully in their own mediation practice to move people in conflict from stubbornness, hostility, and fear to openness, collaboration, and forgiveness. Focusing on the transformative power of stories, Resolving Personal and Organizational Conflict includes an array of case studies from the authors' first-hand experience with thousands of clients. These case studies include the perspectives of all the parties in the conflict and cover a wide range of conflicts and disputes.


KENNETH CLOKE is a mediator, arbitrator, consultant, and trainer specializing in resolving complex multiparty conflicts. JOAN GOLDSMITH is a management consultant and educator specializing in leadership development, organizational change, conflict resolution, and team building.Cloke and Goldsmith are the authors of Resolving Conflicts at Work and the forthcoming Mediating Dangerously, both from Jossey-Bass.



1. The Hidden Meaning of Conflict Stories.

2. Working with Stories to Resolve Conflict.

3. Stories Unheard and Untold.

4. Stories that Sacrifice Life.

5. Stories that Hold Organizations Hostage.

6. Stories that Justify Boundary Violations.

Conclusion: Living Happily Ever After.

About the Authors.



"This book is guaranteed to strike a chord with anyone seekinggreater understanding of the dynamics of conflict and the paths totransformation. Cloke and Goldsmith draw on their vast experienceas mediators, taking us inside the world of conflict stories. Theyshow us how to listen at three levels and ask questions that opendoors for understanding, healing, and growth. An invaluable book!"(Karl Slaikeu, president of Chorda Conflict Management; author,When Push Comes to Shove)

"An eloquent primer for anyone trying to live a successful andsatisfying life. Using conflict as a prism, Joan Goldsmith andKenneth Cloke provide an indispensable look at the elementsnecessary to transformation." (Eileen Moran Brown, president,Cambridge College)

"A classic! Full of timeless insights into highly sophisticatedmediating. The stories are told in detail, so that moves andresponses by the parties and the mediators are apparent. Themediators' exquisite sense of timing and respect for the partiescombine to produce often astonishing results. Essential reading forexperts as well as novices." (Barbara Ashley Phillips, author,Finding Common Ground and The Field Guide to Mediation)

"Those who seek a cookbook approach to mediation will find thisvolume far too rich. A varied menu of stories from the authors'twenty year practice shows how a trained ear, an open mind, arespectful and intuitive stance, and humane values can anchor andsteer a broad and flexible repertoire of effective third-partypractices. Tasty reading!" (Laura Chasin, director, PublicConversations Project)