Courageous Conversation Resources
This year, the Committee on Ministry is committed to helping us learn some of the conflict management skills to meet both our individual and collective needs for a more cooperative, collaborative community.
Here below, we provide some resources for those who are ready to begin empowering themselves – as well as advance our culture – to a more hopeful place of personal and collective liberation.
Documentary Film: Encounter Point (2006), directed by Ronit Avni and Julia Bacha, tells their story. It’s inspiring and instructive. Israelis and Palestinians who’ve lost loved ones in the conflict sit down with one another for difficult conversations.
TED Talk: 10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation (2015) by the American radio journalist Celeste Headlee. She offers tips on having better conversations, and they’re relevant to conversations of the more difficult variety too.
TED Talk: How to Lead Tough Conversations (2019) by Adar Cohen explores how to prepare for tough conversations.
Video: ‘What Do You Do With the Mad That You Feel? (1997) by Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers), offers his advice about dealing with anger. It’s for kids, of course – but his message is powerful and relevant for us all. The full episode is also available online.
Managing Conflict in the Workplace: An Aiki Approach by Judy Ringer.
How to Have Difficult Conversations if you Don’t Like Conflict – by Joel Garfunkle. If you dread conflict, it can be natural to avoid or delay a difficult conversation. But this can hurt your relationships. You can learn to dive into these tough talks by reframing your thoughts.
How to Have Difficult Conversations – by Adar Cohen. Adar Cohen is an expert mediator who has been called in to facilitate complex and highly charged conflicts. He lays out approaches that alleviate the need for mediation – if the participants are willing to try a few challenging approaches
9 Tips on How to Have Difficult Conversations – by Lexi Walters-Wright. These are very basic tips on how to ease into and be successful with conversations that are charged with feelings.
FAQs about Aikido, Centering, Conflict and Communication by Judy Ringer – Exploring how the martial art of Aikido helps ground us, center us, and attune us toward understanding and responding collaboratively to someone else’s energy.
The Third Side: Why We Fight and How We Can Stop (2000) by William Ury, a negotiation specialist at Harvard. This is a seminal work on conflict resolution.
The Little Book of Conflict Transformation (2003) by John Paul Lederach – an expert on mediation and peacebuilding – . This provides helpful advice for using conflict to fundamentally reshape relationships.
Turn Enemies Into Allies: The Art of Peace in the Workplace by Judy Ringer – This book provides a way of working with clashing employees that is deliberate and systematic. This is nformed by the author’s expertise in conflict and communication-skills building and a decades-long practice in mind-body principles.
Unlikely Teachers, Finding the Hidden Gifts in Daily Conflict by Judy Ringer – – A practical tool to help generate clarity, power, and flow in your life.
The Magic of Conflict by Thomas F. Crum – This set of simple techniques, including meditation, breathing exercises, openness, and play–Aiki–leads gently to a reordered state of mind. From overcoming apathy to understanding how conflict doesn’t have to mean contest, Aiki turns mind-body integration principles into powerful tools.
Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen – From the Harvard Negotiation Project, it offers insights on how to approach or avoid difficult conversations every day – whether dealing with an underperforming employee, disagreeing with a spouse, or negotiating with a client.
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg – An approach to communication based on principles of nonviolence.
Braving The Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brené Brown – True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are. It requires you to be who you are.
‘Gate A-4’ (2008) by the Arab American poet Naomi Shihab Nye – a wonderful poem about encounter and connection across difference.
Wise Heart: Practical Skills for Personal Transformation and Thriving Relationships. A rich set of resources for learning and practicing Mindful Compassionate Dialog (aka, Nonviolent Communication). Wise Heart was founded by LaShelle Lowe-Chardé. She offers live classes, self-paced online learning, private consultation, and many useful free resources, including an insightful weekly newsletter called “Connection Gem.”
BayNVC: Bay Area Nonviolent Communication. BayNVC is home to a number of projects and groups working under the same umbrella to apply and promote the principles and practices of Nonviolent Communication. Most of these are operated and run by BayNVC staff and trainers and include private sessions, classes, organizational services, retreats, and a variety of projects designed for social transformation. “Imagine a world where everyone’s needs matter and people have the skills to make peace.”