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Management is nothing more than motivating other people. Lee Iacocca

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The Way Out

The Way Out

Draw upon lessons from science and experience feedback to get out of apparently intractable conflict situations.

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Experience shows that it is easier to start a war than to end one. Some conflicts appear endless. Every attack from one side serves only to guide the opposing one’s resistance; dialogue seems useless. A destructive spiral, seen in major geopolitical clashes (the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Colombian civil war) but also in sociopolitical rifts (the pro-choice or anti-abortion debate, the disputes between pro- and anti-Trump factions in the United States). Within companies themselves, antagonisms can sometimes be so powerful that they prevent even the possibility of change—even if the consequences of disagreements are fortunately less severe in this sphere.

So how to break a deadlock? To answer this thorny question, the author draws upon research in psychology, sociology, political science and complexity science. He illustrates how, in certain situations, rigid yet coherent systems of thought prevent individuals from putting their disagreements into perspective and collaborating. He also uses feedback from major reconciliation initiatives: what objectives were pursued? How did they lead to resumed dialogue?

A valuable work to take a step back from conflicts: it demonstrates that we must sometimes abandon our hopes of bringing points of view closer, and instead seek to make them coexist.