Psychology professor and negotiations expert Daniel Shapiro explains that emotional conflicts threaten your identity, so that is where you must look to solve them. To heal conflict, he says, look for the “transcendent unity” that will help you go beyond your core identity and connect with the other person. Shapiro advises that instead of dealing with the surface topic of the dispute, like finances or politics, look at the part that identity plays. If you feel that a dispute threatens your identity, you may think fighting is your only alternative. Your opponent may feel that way, too. But, Shapiro insists, you both have productive alternatives. This lucid, engaging probe into a tough subject is a useful reference for senior managers, those seeking personal growth, and those who want to understand and resolve conflict at work or at home.
About the Author
Daniel L. Shapiro, Founder and director of the Harvard International Negotiation Program, works as associate professor in psychology at Harvard Medical School/McLean Hospital and is an affiliate faculty member at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.