If we could graph conflict over time, this past year would surely demonstrate a peak. We are all surrounded by constant conflict—from the intensity of living with loved ones in lockdown to political tensions of a 50-50 split in the Senate, not to mention grave issues fundamental to democracy. Two new astute, hit books take a deep dive into understanding and, potentially, resolving conflict: Think Again by Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist at the Wharton School of Business, and High Conflict by journalist Amanda Ripley.
These authors lend insight into how we behave—and how we can adjust these behaviors. As mediation practitioners, the work of addressing and resolving high conflict is familiar, and yet we draw lessons from these authors that merit revisiting and examining up close.