New book shows how conflict does not have to be adversarial

Conflict is a natural part of life that should be embraced, according to a new book “Better and more creative outcomes can be realized by simply considering conflict as the intersection of differences,” says Patricia McGinnis, author of  “Change Pain to Gain: The Secrets of Turning Conflict into Opportunity,” available on Amazon.

McGinnis shows conflict does not have to be adversarial. She regularly prepares parents and educators to resolve conflicts over the education of students in her position as coordinator of the Minnesota Department of Education Special Education Alternative Dispute Resolution Services.

McGinnis offers eight secrets for resolving disputes:

1. Conflict does not need to be feared. Conflict is a natural part of life and the best approach is to be neutral.

2. Conflict can turn into opportunity. Believe that there are possibilities for harmony and better outcomes when resolving conflict.

3. Burning anger just burns you. Holding onto anger damages a person’s body and spirit, and may prevent a resolution to the conflict.

4. My way or the highway is the wrong way. Insisting on your own way is not productive.

5. Let your values be your compass. When you act consistently in accordance with your values, people will trust you and will be willing to engage in a conversation to resolve differences.

6. Stop assuming and start asking questions. Never assume the other party will be unwilling to find a solution. Ask carefully worded questions and listen carefully to the answers.

7. Conflict masqueraders could derail you. Not everyone sees the world in the same way, and some differences in people distract them from addressing their conflict.

8. Embrace conflict to find peace. Be willing to have the conversation, create solutions together, and protect relationships.


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