book review on conflict
From: CJ Q (
Date: Wed, 6 Jan 2021 06:32:38 -0800 (PST)
A great resource for conflict and affordable is the new book by Yana Ludwig
and Karen Gimnig called The Cooperative Culture Handbook: A Social Change
Manual to Dismantle Toxic Culture and Build Connection.
Almost every page has activities and suggestions to help individuals and
especially groups work out conflict.  The questions alone can help groups
see how they are doing.

I used it last night in a group as I was giving a presentation about the
book. We only had time for 2 exercises to use as examples and I was
impressed. Just asking questions of what people want and suggestions they
have - we have lots of great ideas now for how to run the group and things
to try.

The one thing I did realize is that the book has many tools but teaching
compassion and caring is something people have to choose to do. It seems
easier to just be silent and walk away from conflict.  And groups can
easily become paralyzed if one person or more acts in non-empathetic ways.
Whereas if one person or more start acting in more caring ways and lean
into conflict, others would follow that example.  The HBO documentary on
the Heaven's Gate Cult talked about that experiment, I forget the name,
where everyone purposely said the wrong number so the one person not in on
it said the wrong number too to be part of the group.

So, this book is a good guide to help any type of group.
Here is my favorite quote:

“It can be challenging to know the difference between following a
collaborative structure and actually acting in a collaborative way. One
indicator is the extent to which people feel disempowered or sense that
they are not being heard. If someone believes they are being run over, odds
are there is work to do.  It may be that the group needs to change
something about how it is operating.  (a particular case of this is when a
marginalized person points to marginalizing behaviors the group is not
seeing and those comments are dismissed by the group. ) it may also be that
the individual needs to change how they are showing up or do some personal
work around their reactions.  Probably what will be most effective is a
combination of personal and group work.”  (p 89)


homeowner at Emerson Commons, Virginia
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