Re: Gossip vs. venting - conflict resolution resources
From: Tree Bressen (
Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2003 01:41:05 -0700 (MST)
Hi Sylvie,

>This is Sylvie Kashdan of
>Jackson Place Cohousing

>Can you recommend some other good systems and books, etc., in addition to
>"Non-Violent Communication" by Marshall Rosenberg?
>Thanks in advance.

Sorry it took me longer than usual to respond to this note, it got buried
in my list mailbox and so didn't get the attention it deserved.  

You did not specify an exact topic, but i assume the query is in the
context of dealing with conflicts.  

I have two pages on my website ( on the topic of
conflict, one in the Articles section and one in the Toolbox section.  I've
just added a whole bunch of new pages to my website, so i'm glad if people
use them.

Tom Atlee lists a lot of different methods, some more appropriate for what
you are asking than others, on his website at on the Collaborative Methods section
(2nd bullet point on the homepage).

Parent Effectiveness Training (PET) was once a popular system & book, i'm
not sure how many people use it today but i imagine it's still a fine

A book on mediation that i've heard praised particularly highly is Bush &
Folger's "The Promise of Mediation."  It comes out of the school of
mediation that is generally referred to as Transformative, which i resonate
more with than other types of mediation.  However, since i haven't actually
read it, i'm recommending it based on other people's reviews.

For a short, concrete treatment, i really like the 5 pages in "The Zen of
Groups" book (available through FIC's Community Bookshelf, see on conflict (pp. 175-180).  

Looking that up reminded me about a technique that i haven't used that
often but that can be wonderful in the right situation.  I recommend using
it when the community seems polarized into camps on an issue.  Convene a
fishbowl in the midst of the larger group, with representatives from each
"camp."  Invite each rep to express their point of view for a few minutes.
Then have them switch seats and express the p.o.v. of the person whose seat
they are now sitting in.  This can be great for breaking up the stuck energy.

Oh and also, the classic book in the field of negotiation is "Getting to
Yes," by Ury & Fisher.

I hope this is useful to you, feel free to let me know if you have more

Good luck,



Tree Bressen
1680 Walnut St.
Eugene, OR 97403
(541) 484-1156
tree [at]
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