Dr. Ronald S. Kraybill is a facilitator, consultant and trainer in conflict resolution based in Silver Spring, Maryland. He was Senior Advisor on Peacebuilding and Development for the United Nations in Lesotho and the Philippines, 2009-2014, Professor of Conflict Transformation at Eastern Mennonite University, 1996-2007, Director of Training at the Centre for Conflict Resolution in Capetown, 1989-1995, and Founding Director of the Mennonite Conciliation Service, 1979-1988. In recent years he has been involved in peace efforts in Israel/, Iraq, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Guyana, Lesotho, and the Philippines. He blogs on his publishing website,
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Use Silence in Facilitating
What can a facilitator do with an extremely persistent person, who refuses to stop interrupting others in mediating or facilitating?
When People Interrupt
The problem we saw in the recent residential debate is familiar to any mediator: How do you keep angry people from interrupting each other?
You Can Lead Trainings
Do you want to help a team or group improve patterns of dealing with conflict? This article includes resources to help you lead a rich learning experience on conflict styles.
Healers Call Others-III
As we accept the reality of our own pain and struggle, and begin to recognize their universality, we open ourselves to the voice of the soul.
Worry About Hornets
On September 11, 2019, President Trump warned about what America would do if attacked again.
Transforming the Healer-I
How can we assist the healing of a broken world when we ourselves are far from healed?
Homework on Conflict Styles
Life spares none from conflict. But unfortunately the word has not yet reached the schools that train professionals.
Lead Without Bullying
We’re reading a lot these days about leaders who bully.
New Trainers Guides
Every person, every organization, and every community faces conflict throughout the life cycle. These guides are designed to help everyone.
Thomas-Kilmann, Hammer’s ICSI, or Style Matters?
Trainers considering use of Style Matters as a conflict style inventory should be aware of two other options as well, the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument and the Hammer Intercultural Conflict Style Inventory.
Stop Giving Others Insult Power
Do you know people who get upset and insulted easily?
Conflict Styles: Digital vs Paper
In training with the Thomas Kilmann or my Style Matters conflict style inventories, you have an option to use either a paper or online version. I used to be ambivalent about this choice, but no more.
Career in Conflict Resolution?
Everywhere I’ve lived and worked, I’ve met people who feel a deep inner echo to the idea of making peace.
Two-Step to Prioritize Relationship
A great move for improving your effectiveness in conflict is mastering the two-step discussion process.
How to Lead with Less Anger
Do you use an angry voice to communicate or give instructions when a firm, even voice would do the job just as well?
Conflict Styles: Digital vs Paper
I used to be ambivalent about the digital v paper choice, but no more.
Talking Stick Breaks Impasse
Divided Democrats and Republicans found a way to talk this week, and actually listened to each other, using a talking stick!
Shift Dynamics with One Word
Here’s a strategy to improve dynamics in a difficult conversation: In an argument or tense discussion, replace “but” with “and”.
Plan Teambuilding Now
Good relationships rarely happen by chance. They happen by choice, when people choose to do stuff that facilitates friendship and connection.
What Not to Say After Violence
An Important Choice: What to Do and Say After Violence?
Isolation and polarization are big threats today.
How Do You Call to the Deep?
By adopting practices of interaction largely stripped of symbols and moments to engage Depth, we cut ourselves off from the most powerful source of energy for creativity, connection, and change available to us.
Use this Simple 2 Step for Conflict Resolution
As you become aware of diverse conflict styles, you can easily use the two step discussion process, a conflict resolution strategy that can be surprisingly effective.
No Risk? No Hope Then Either
I witnessed with alarm a recent ruling of the US Supreme Court regarding the U.S. PATRIOT Act. This Act makes it illegal to give support of any kind to groups listed by the US government as terrorist groups, even if the support is designed to end violence.
On Religion and Violence: Step Back George, Step Forth, People of Faith
Just as many in the West believe there is threat from the Muslim world, large numbers of Muslims believe a vast threat to their beliefs and their way of life exists from the West. Fearful people on all sides easily find disturbing gestures from the other side and hold these up as indicators of the future. We are at a grave pass. What to do?
Skills for Transformative Group Facilitation
The single biggest factor in determining whether a meeting is rewarding or disappointing is the skill of the leader. Unfortunately, skills for facilitating meetings are rarely taught. People seem to assume that white hair, or a good education, or the title of CEO, chair, reverend, etc., somehow equips leaders with skills adequate to lead meetings.
Conflict Transformation in an Age of Terrorism
America has invested lavishly and narrowly in hammers. As a consequence, the mightiest nation in history responds simplistically to a problem of vast complexity. Rather than examine the full extent of the evil mess created by decades of destructive interaction between ourselves and others, we choose responses that under-estimate the gravity of our situation. We satisfy our need to act, but our children will bear the cost, for the problems will grow far worse on the long-term.
The Wall and 'Supply Side Security'
It's time to move past "do-we-or-don't we shell Saddam" to the stuff burning holes in our hearts. Let's name what we're really after. Isn't it security, to know that when we say good-bye to our families in the morning we'll live to say hello again over the dinner table at night? To know that our kids get to have grandkids someday?
Win the Battle, But Lose the War?
So long as individual nations are free to alone retaliate for offenses, the cycle of violence and retaliation will be endless.