Ford ventures in where most fear to tread, Dangerous Love. The irony. The beginning of the book reminds me that conflict resolution isn’t as easy as we might hope, working our way through relationships, seeking comprehensive responses from others, we need. But what do others need?
Ford’s rendition of transforming fear and conflict in various levels of existence comes down to a few basic steps that allow us to approach conflict from the perspective of the other person. He shows through examples including his own negotiations and broad stroke of impact on the world stage why predictable patterns of justification can’t work. He performs the ritualistic comprehension of putting the other man first and looking to see how he can “help the other guy first” to find solutions.
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Dangerous Love fulfilled the promise of changing how I see the other guy. This book reminded me that there’s a whole world of advantage available to us when we seek to understand before we seek to be understood. What level of listening should we aspire to when attempting to find a resolution?
When we stop fighting and seek to understand our opponent the danger of conflict resolution disappears and we begin to see opportunity instead.
Ford’s experience as s associate professor of intercultural peace building and director of the David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding at Brigham Young University brings greater insight to his global conflict resolution initiatives. And the whole of it opens a vast window to understanding how an individual person such as myself can have an even greater impact on the outside world, by simply seeking to understand my opponent first. I’m reminded by his words to acknowledge the humanity in those around me and seek first to see that, before confronting them with conflict.
We’re all here for the same reason – to find the next level of existence. Of that one single thing I’m certain. Then, by reading, I ran smack into the wall created by being an ally, “Allies help fuel collusion by giving us the exact justification we need to keep them going.”
Ford describes being his best friend’s ally when his wife left him. Then he shifted gears to solve the problem and started to look between the words his friend offered in explanation to see the possibilities of a compassionate perspective, to understand his friend’s wife. Then he asked, “Are you sure you’re seeing the situation clearly?”
By offering a challenge to his friend, he became a mediator rather than an ally offering up better perspective and viewpoints where his friend might be able to look at his wife with the kind of compassion that would allow him to rebuild the marriage and fix what was broken.
From a world perspective, I’d like to send this book to every leader on the world stage. But from a personal perspective I think it could benefit more people if everyone read it to see how they could be more effective at mediating conflict and finding solutions.
by John Davis, posted by Clay Burton