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Jennifer Goldman Organizational Psychologist and the Founding Principal of Alignment Strategies Group

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  • What we don’t know can help us: Eliciting out-of-discipline knowledge for work with intractable conflicts

    This article presents the results of a study in which the authors interviewed diverse experts in fields outside the traditional conflict domain about intractable conflicts. The purpose was to gather their frame-breaking insights. The article examines the findings—from how Biblical metaphors can promote reconciliation, to how to create an independent, international facilitation corps.

  • Emotional intractability: Gender, anger, aggression and rumination in conflict

    This article presents the findings of a study on how people’s gender-role identities affect their perceptions of a victim in conflict, and how these perceptions affect the negativity and aggressiveness of their responses and the degree to which they ruminate and remain hostile over time.

  • Resolving Tough Conflicts - One competency at a time

    For all its successes, principled negotiation has its limitations. This article outlines a new framework called CIVIC, which aims to enable organizations to effectively deal with persistent conflicts. CIVIC is an acronym for the five elements leaders need to pay attention to in order to transform difficult conflicts: complexity, interconnectedness, values, imagination and courage.

  • Building a Compliance Culture

    Culture risk assessment is now an important component of ongoing risk management. Because an unhealthy culture can directly translate into human capital issues, reputational damage, and compliance risk, the ability of corporate leadership to set a vision for company culture that is adhered to on all levels is paramount. In the face of increasing regulatory scrutiny, firms need a programmatic approach to measuring and managing culture risk proactively to drive cost-effective actions.

  • The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice, Third Edition

    This book chapter outlines a framework for successfully conducting field research and evaluating conflict resolution initiatives.

  • Put Yourself in Your Own Shoes

    Conventional advice on solving conflict says you should “put yourself in the other person’s shoes.” This old adage suggests that by increasing understanding and empathy for the other side, we will be better able to create solutions that take their interests into account, thus allowing us to more quickly and effectively reach agreement. For several decades now, this advice has helped millions of people reach “win-win” agreements. The problem is this assumes people know what they want, and why they want it. Which is not always true.

  • How to End the Bitter Debate

    The world today is increasingly polarized. People who once identified with the center have shifted towards extremes. For example, in the US political arena, those who once identified as Republicans or Democrats have now shifted towards the “alt-right” or “left-wing activism”. This means there may be no shortage of bitter debates in the coming years, whether we’re at a dinner party, at the office, or working to influence those in elected office.

  • Ugly Conflict? Map It Out

    Difficult conflicts are typically caused by multiple interconnected factors, but our tendency is to view the situation in much simpler terms. This evolved over millennia as a way to enable us to successfully adapt to a world of overwhelming data, but one of its drawbacks is that it can severely limit our ability to see complex situations clearly. Because of this limitation, in order to master conflict, it helps to start by not doing anything at all. It helps to simply observe who the players are, how they’ve behaved and how they’re connected to one another.