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Bridging Cultural Conflicts: A New Approach for a Changing World
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“This much needed book . . .is a creative, helpful, and hopeful contribution at a time when we are especially challenged to bridge cultures in the pursuit of mutual understanding and peace.“
— 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.
Michelle LeBaron is professor of conflict analysis and resolution at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. LeBaron teaches about conflict, culture, and creativity and writes poetry by the sea. She consults with groups and organizations around the world on issues related to diversity, identity, meaning-making, and spirituality. She is the author of Bridging Troubled Waters (Jossey-Bass, 2002).
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