- Jimmy Carter, Nobel Peace Laureate
In our global society, challenging conflicts abound in personal, business, government, and international settings. Many of these conflicts are complicated by layers of miscommunication, cultural misunderstandings, and completely different ways of looking at the world. These conflicts cannot be solved by goodwill or sincere intentions alone. In our multicultural world, we need new tools to address gaps in communication and understanding and the conflicts that flow from them.
Bridging Cultural Conflicts answers this need in groundbreaking ways that cut through complexity, replacing confusion with clarity. It introduces mindful awareness, cultural fluency, and conflict fluency as tools for decoding and moving through intercultural conflicts, and for deepening and integrating change. The book shows how fluency with culture and conflict can be learned through attention and practice, just as we would internalize a new language. As fluency is acquired, a process called dynamic engagement is presented to help prevent intercultural conflict, limit its escalation, and transform it into a learning experience.
Michelle LeBaron's approach in Bridging Cultural Conflicts is human, practical, and adaptable to a wide range of interpersonal, community, organizational, and political conflicts. Drawing from her work as an attorney, mediator, scholar, and internationally acclaimed consultant, Michelle combines the dynamism of Western approaches to conflict resolution with the insight and balance of Eastern approaches. In the process, she offers a wide array of creative strategies and usable tools. As we urgently seek better ways to work and live together and to address the issues that divide us, this timely book inspires flexibility, creativity, and hope.
Foreword (Mohammed Abu-Nimer).
PART ONE: Capacities for Engaging Cultural Conflicts.
1 Bridging Cultures: Uncovering Paths That Connect Us.
2 Cultural Fluency in Conflict: An Overview.
3 Cultural Fluency in Conflict: Currencies and Starting Points.
4 Mindful Awareness as a Path to Cultural Fluency.
5 Conflict Fluency.
6 Engaging Difference.
PART TWO: Practices for Engaging Cultural Conflict.
7 Deepning the Colors: Personal Practces to Help Bridge Differences.
8 Out of the Fire: Interpersonal Practices to Help Bridge Differences.
9 On the Larger Stage: Intergroup Practice to Help Bridge Differences.
PART THREE: Standing in Between: Third Parties and Cultural Conflict.
10 Third-Pary Roles in Cultural Conflict.
PART FOUR: The Way Forward.
11 Stepping into Shared Pictures.
About the Author.