Thirty years of mediating civil litigation taught me two important truths about conflict. First, if collective problem solving is the goal, name calling and bullying are usually counterproductive; minds can best, and maybe only be changed in a context of friendship, or at least low animosity, and voluntary concessions are rarely given under threat. Working within this paradigm calls for trust building and dialogue. But, when domination or destruction is one party’s goal, when relationship and shared interests hold no sway, force can become the only alternative to capitulation or annihilation. Win or lose, the target of such aggression has little choice but to prepare for a fight to the finish. Identifying intentions correctly is critical to choosing which truth to follow.
How do these truths apply to current American politics? Continue reading “It’s how you say it — Part 3: Two Truths”