Summary of Optimal Outcomes

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Optimal Outcomes book summary

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Conflicts exist in all people’s lives. But don’t despair. You can learn how to change your behavior to free yourself from challenging situations with friends, family and colleagues. In this helpful book, organizational psychologist Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler dives into the emotions behind conflict. Her “Optimal Outcomes Method” helps you identify behavior patterns, values and goals by encouraging you to imagine an ideal outcome, and compare it to what might occur if you walk away or take no action. Reality-testing her options will lead you to your best possible outcome, freeing you from unnecessary conflict.

About the Author

Organizational psychologist Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler founded and leads Alignment Strategies Group, a consulting firm that helps executives improve organizational health and growth. 


The “Optimal Outcomes Method” offers practices that help you free yourself from repeated conflict.

Conflicts are ubiquitous. But developing multiple, differing perspectives can generate creative new solutions.

You develop certain conflict habits that mire you in a conflict loop. The Optimal Outcomes Method offers ways to break these repetitive loops. Some practices examine the emotions behind disagreements; others help you develop the ability to merge your imagined “Ideal Future” with a reality that accounts for other people involved in the conflict.

Understand the four reactions to conflict and notice your default response.

People deal with conflict in four distinct ways. To break a long-running conflict loop, understand your own default response and change it.

Though they can fearlessly face difficult business problems and lead teams with confidence, some competitive people blame others when difficulties arise. Their aggressiveness can cause others to either respond in kind or shut down. Avoiding conflict is no solution, however; unaddressed issues will rise to the surface again in the future. A third response is to judge yourself so ...

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