Beyond Neutrality: Confronting the Crisis in Conflict by Bernard Mayer

By Bernard Mayer

During this thought-provoking, passionately written e-book, Bernard Mayer—an the world over acclaimed chief within the field—dares practitioners to invite the not easy questions on replacement dispute answer. What’s flawed with clash solution? Why aren’t extra contributors and corporations utilizing clash solution after they have an issue? Why doesn’t the general public comprehend extra approximately it? What are the bounds of clash answer? while does clash answer paintings and while does it not?  providing a dedicated practitioner’s critique of the occupation of mediation, arbitration, and substitute dispute solution, past Neutrality specializes in the present quandary within the box of clash answer and provides a practical reaction.

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Extra info for Beyond Neutrality: Confronting the Crisis in Conflict Resolution

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I believe that the experience, skills, understanding, and concepts that we bring to our work as conflict resolvers can be used to assist people who are committed to continuing a conflict. But to do this, we have to embrace the value of conflict itself in a more committed way than is the norm in our field. And we have to believe that there is a reason for conflict resolution professionals to help people engage more deeply in conflict. This means becoming more comfortable with the roles of advocate, coach, trainer, adviser, and negotiator and accepting these roles as appropriate for conflict resolution professionals.

To a large extent, these are provided to us by our other fields of origin (for example, law, mental health, labor relations, human resources, or planning). Historically, we have been more of a movement than a profession (see Chapter Five). As a movement, we have been committed to altering the way decisions are made, disputes resolved, policy debated, and contracts negotiated. To do so, we have proposed new professional roles that have challenged the existing practices of other fields. These fields have responded by trying to subsume conflict resolution roles within their own activities.

We are victims of our own overly narrow view of ourselves and what it is we bring to conflict. This view may have made it easier for us to identify what it is we do and to market our services, but it has also led to a constrained view on the part of the public about what they can get from us, and more important, it has constrained our own thinking. We need to challenge four key presumptions about who we are and what we do: • We overidentify our work with the third-party neutral role. As professional conflict resolvers, we almost always see ourselves as third-party neutrals.

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