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Staying with Conflict: A Strategic Approach to Ongoing Disputes / Edition 1

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Praise for Staying with Conflict

"Perhaps the biggest secret of the conflict resolution field is that many conflicts are not ready for resolution—nor need they be resolved. In this wonderfully thought-provoking and practical book, Bernie Mayer shows conflict specialists how to help parties engage constructively with their differences and stay with their conflicts in a productive way. I recommend it!"
—William UrY, coauthor, Getting to Yes and author, The Power of a Positive No

"Once again, Bernie Mayer is two jumps ahead of the field. Staying with Conflict opens up a new way of thinking about our work and is essential reading for any practitioner who suspects the underlying conflict won't be over just because the parties have now signed something."
—Christopher Honeyman, managing partner, CONVENOR, and conflict management editor, The Negotiator's Fieldbook

"Bernie Mayer continues to challenge us to examine some of the fundamental assumptions about the role of conflict resolution professionals. Staying with Conflict offers thoughtful analysis (useful on both the professional and personal levels), provides concrete, accessible examples, and even considers marketing strategies for professionals working with conflict that is unlikely to be resolved. This is a comprehensive and clearly written book and is a must-read for anyone who works with conflict."
—Peter Salem, executive director, Association of Family Conciliation Courts

"Bernie Mayer has written about the right issue at the right time. This book will help practitioners and parties in conflict alike to work seriously and constructively over the long haul."
—Zena Zumeta, JD, Mediation Training and Consultation Institute, and past president, Academy of Family Mediators

"Social justice activists know from experience that perseverance is the key to lasting social change—especially when power imbalances favor the status quo. In Staying with Conflict Bernie Mayer shows how successful social change advocates can harness the tensions of 'creative non-resolution' of conflict to leverage opportunities for favorable and fundamental change."
—Chet Tchozewski, founder and president, Global Greengrants Fund

"In Staying with Conflict, Bernie Mayer helps us rotate to a new perspective as conflict specialists—one that embraces the realities, tensions, and excitements of enduring conflict. This is a well-written, compelling reminder that conflict, like life, is a journey that requires long-term, complex, and reflective understandings of how we build relationships."
—Tricia S. Jones, professor of psychological studies, Temple University, and past editor-in-chief,

Conflict Resolution Quarterly

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“I picked up Bernard Mayer’s new book last spring, and here is the bottom line: its impact on my practice was instant…What is more, the impact has been enduring. It has changed how I think about and talk about the work I do….”
— Sheila Heen in Negotiation Journal, January 2010
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787997298
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/3/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 850,493
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Bernard Mayer, a professor at the Werner Institute for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution, Creighton University, and a partner in CDR Associates, has been working in the conflict field since the late 1970s as a mediator, facilitator, trainer, researcher, program administrator, and dispute system designer. He has worked on many complex environmental confl icts, organizational and labor - management disputes, interpersonal conflicts, planning and development issues, public decision - making processes, and ethnic disputes. He has an extensive background in family and child welfare mediation as well. Bernie has worked with corporations; labor unions; Native American governments and associations; federal, state, and local agencies; public interest groups; professional associations; schools; child welfare programs; mental health services; and universities.

He has consulted on conflict and conflict intervention throughout the United States and Canada and has extensive experience working internationally as well. He has been recognized as a leader in applying mediation in new arenas such as mental health, child welfare, and disputes between public agencies and involuntary clients. He has also been recognized for his work in bridging the gap between theory and practice in confl ict intervention. Bernie received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Denver, his M.S.W. from Columbia University, and his B.A. from Oberlin College. He is the author of The Dynamics of Conflict Resolution: A Practitioner ’ s Guide (Jossey- Bass, 2000) and Beyond Neutrality: Confronting the Crisis in Confl ict Resolution (Jossey- Bass, 2004), which received the 2004 annual book award from the CPR International Institute for Confl ict Prevention & Resolution, as well as many other writings about conflict. He lives in Kingsville, Ontario, and Boulder, Colorado, with his wife, Julie Macfarlane, and family.

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Table of Contents


1. A New Direction for the Conflict Field.

2. Conflict and Engagement.

3. Escaping the Avoidance Trap.

4. Working the Conflict Narrative.

5. Communicating in Enduring Conflict.

6. Using Power and Escalation.

7. Agreements in Ongoing Conflict.

8. Taking a Sustainable Approach to Enduring Conflict.

9. Conflict Specialists and Enduring Conflict.

Epilogue: The Dynamic Nature of Enduring Conflict.


About the Author.


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