Chapter Six

Engaging Conflict

Note: This chapter summarizes the concepts developed in B. Mayer, Beyond Neutrality: Confronting the Crisis in Conflict Resolution (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2004), and in B. Mayer, Staying with Conflict: A Strategic Approach to Ongoing Disputes (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2009).

Perhaps the most important decision we make as conflict interveners is one we often don’t even realize we are making. Our whole approach to conflict is governed by what we sense our purpose to be. The default position most conflict interveners take is that our mission is to resolve conflict, reach agreements, or settle disputes. This belief is embedded in how we market our services, name our organizations, and identify our profession. ...

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