Is The Conflict Specialist A Leader?

Ran Kuttner – Parallel to the emergence of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as a field, in the last few decades there is a growing body of literature on “Leadership” as a separate field with a set of skills and traits that can be taught. This is not the only resemblance to the ADR field; themes advanced in leadership literature and trainings have a lot in common with those advanced in ADR:

1. The shift away from hierarchical structures

2. Globalization and the understanding of human interconnectedness,

3. Giving priority to communication and collaboration rather than placing the individual who pursues to advance his own understanding of the preferred outcomes.

4. The importance of collaborative problem-solving, the ability to suspend judgment and appreciate diverse views, the constructive role of conflict, team-building, consensus-building, etc.

5. The understanding of the leader and the conflict specialist as supporters, setting the conditions for others to thrive.

Leaders are encouraged to implement skills that are in many cases akin to those advanced by conflict specialists. Much has been written in the ADR literature on the intersection of management skills and conflict resolutions skills, exploring how the ideas and tools taught and implemented by the conflict specialist can assist managers in their work…
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Jeff Thompson

Jeff Thompson, Ph.D., is a professor at Lipscomb University, researcher, mediator, and trainer. He is also involved in crisis and hostage negotiation as well as a law enforcement detective. His research includes law enforcement crisis and hostage negotiation in terrorist incidents. He received his doctorate from Griffith University Law School… MORE >

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