February 2010 Archives

A "Breakthrough" Approach

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An interview with Dr. Mark Lee Robinson about the applications of Creative Conflict Resolution to large scale conflict.

Why is your approach to conflict resolution a breakthrough?

My principles of Creative Conflict Resolution represent a major shift in our point of view. Even experts--people who have wrestled professionally with the problems of conflict resolution--need a new perspective toward the creative possibilities inherent in conflict, rather than simply offering the usual techniques to mediate it.

We need to redefine what we mean by conflict? How so?

We normally define conflict as what happens when parties with opposing interests start trying to dominate each other. For example, we may have a problem when someone in the office is not reloading paper into the copier when it runs out, but we decide not to say anything to him because we "don't want to start a conflict." Or we know there were deep hostilities between Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda stemming from the colonial era, but we speak of the conflict starting in 1994 when Hutus began "cutting down the tall trees."