Conflict resolution through the round table

Many people wonder, why do we see conflicts, contradictions in the world that seem to have no resolution, solution at all?!

I would turn the question around saying that most conflicts resist resolution and the ones that can be resolved are not real conflict but perhaps misunderstandings.

And the reason why true conflicts cannot be directly resolved is our inherently self-justifying, subjective, fiercely individualistic nature that simply can’t tolerate being defeated, proven wrong. There is a saying, “when you win an argument you just made an enemy”. Since we all see the world in a totally egocentric, subjective manner and justify ourselves at any cost, there is no way we can accept being wrong.

Thus we need to learn a completely new “conflict resolution” mode, a new way of “debating”. This new method is discussing problems, arguments, conflicts in the format of a workshop, round table discussion.

If the participants — after a short introduction, practice — willingly accept to place their own opinions on the table but then immediately switch to listening mode, trying to see things from the viewpoint of the others, “washing themselves over” by the thoughts, opinions of the others — then the method start to work.

Then after a few rounds, they can all rise above the level of the original conflict, contradictions finding, building completely new, composite solutions, opinions that contains parts from each person’s individual, original viewpoints, ideas, but the final solution is something completely new that did not exist in any of them.

In the end, none of them will feel defeated as they feel that their opinions, viewpoints were listened to and are included in the final, composite solution. They will all feel like winners as they can go away with a true solution that fits all of them perfectly and they all contributed to it.



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Zsolt Hermann

I am a Hungarian-born Orthopedic surgeon presently living in New Zealand, with a profound interest in how mutually integrated living systems work.