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Continued: Rosenblum: Want to resolve conflicts? Start listening to the other side

  • Article by: GAIL ROSENBLUM , Star Tribune
  • Last update: October 7, 2013 - 9:23 PM

Options such as other ways to generate funds, or perhaps using endowments to buy time.

“People stake out positions to preserve something,” McAdoo said. “But there always has to be a way to help people move forward and not lose face.”

Sometimes, the boldest move forward means changing one’s mind. Still, few leaders are willing to do that, Press said.

“Somewhere along the line, particularly as it relates to politicians, came this notion that it is somehow a bad trait to listen for new information and change your mind. Somewhere, we saw this as ‘flip-flopping,’ rather than that’s what makes for a wise person — someone who actually listens to and makes changes based on new information.

“There are very few instances where one person is 100 percent in the wrong and the other 100 percent in the right,” said Press, who has been doing conflict resolution work since 1986.

“We’re complex human beings in complex situations, so solutions to conflict don’t have easy answers,” she said. “I’m humble enough to recognize that I don’t know everything. For me, it is incredibly rewarding when people do have those moments of being able to understand the other side and figure out a way to get to that place.”

 

gail.rosenblum@startribune.com 612-673-7350

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  • Sharon Press is director of the Hamline Law Dispute Resolution Institute.

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