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Handbook of Solution-Focused Conflict Management

Benjamin Franklin once said: 'every problem is an opportunity in disguise'. In the new and highly successful approach of solution-focused conflict management described here, the focus is on discovering these opportunities to find the 'win-win' scenario. The key lies in asking eliciting questions about goals, exceptions, and competences and in motivating clients to change. Clients' perspectives are considered primary, and they are empowered to formulate their own hopes for the future and to devise ways to make them happen, focusing on the preferred future facilitates change in the desired direction. The concept and the methodology of solution-focused conflict management differ significantly from traditional methods, but can easily be combined with them. Meetings also become more positive and shorter, ensuring that solution-focused conflict management is also cost-effective. This book is essential reading for all those who need to manage conflicts. It provides a detailed description of the highly successful solution-focused model, its theoretical background, and practical applications in conflict management practice: divorce, workplace, family, neighbors, personal injury cases, victim-offender conflicts. Kenneth Cloke, one of the most inspiring mediators in the world, wrote the Foreword and Epilogue.
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Table of Contents

Foreword by Kenneth Cloke: Building Bridges Between Psychology and Conflict Resolution - Implications for Mediator Learning. . v Peer Commentaries. . vii 1 Bloodtaking and Peacemaking . . 1 Conflict Management Is of All Times and All Species . . 1 Modern Conflict Management . . 2 Story 1: Taking a Different View... 3 2 Background Issues... 5 Introduction... 5 Game Theory... 5 Quantum Mechanics and Neuroscience... 7 Hope Theory. . 9 Broaden-and-Build Theory of Positive Emotions. . 14 Story 2: Feeding a Fellow... . 16 3 Solution-Focused Interviewing ... 19 Principles of Solution-Focused Interviewing... 19 Story 3: Do Something Different... 19 Looking to the Future (1)... 20 Assumptions With an Eye on Solutions... 20 Acknowledgment and Possibilities... 22 Microanalysis of Conversations... 24 Empirical Evidence...24 Indications and Contraindications...26 Story 4: The Problem of Looking for Problems... 26 4 Solution-Focused Conflict Management... 29 Four Dimensions in Conflict Thinking... 29 Looking to the Future (2)... 30 Clients, Parties, Lawyers, and Litigants: What's in the Name?. . 32 Differences Between Traditional and Solution-Focused Conflict Management. . 32 Changing Conflict Stories... 34 5 Four Basic Solution-Focused Questions...37 Questions About Hope . . 37 Story 5: The Power of Hope... 39 x Handbook of Solution-Focused Conflict Management Questions About Differences . . 39 Questions About What Is Already Working. . 41 Questions About the Next Step or Sign of Progress... 42 Solution-Focused Conflict Management in Practice . . 43 6 More Solution-Focused Questions... 47 More Questions... 47 What Else? ...47 Premediation Change . . 48 Interactional Matrix. . 49 Looking to the Future (3): Future-Oriented Questions... 51 Story 6: Working from the Future Back... 53 Scaling Questions: Hope, Motivation, and Confidence... 54 Scaling Questions: Respect - Contempt... 55 Scaling Questions: Pure Collaboration - Pure Conflict... 57 Feedback...58 What Is Better?... 59 7 Divorce Mediation... 61 Compliments... 64 Story 7: The Importance of Accepting Compliments... 65 8 Working Alliance and Motivation to Change. . 69 Motivation to Change... 69 Visitor, Complainant, or Customer...69 Attitude of the Solution-Focused Mediator . . 72 Resistance Is Not a Useful Concept. . 73 Scaling Motivation, Confidence, and Hope . . 74 Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument... 75 Persuasion Theory... 75 Caucus... 77 Working Alliance... 77 SupermediatorsA" ... 78 Motivation of the Mediator... 80 9 Neighbor Conflict Mediation... 83 Normalization. .. . 86 Story 8: Drawing Boundaries... 86 10 More Solution-Focused Tools... 89 Summarizing... 89 Focus on Positive Emotions... 89 Apologies, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation... 92 I Don't KnowA". . 96 Table of Contents xi Arguments. . 96 Externalization of the Conflict... 97 Spacing Meetings . . 99 Metaphors... 99 Consensus-Building ... 100 Solution-Focused Consensus-Building... 101 11 Team Mediation... 103 Game Theory Revisited: Trust . . 105 Liquid TrustA". . 107 The Price to Pay ... 108 Story 9: Finding Peace . .109 12 Client-Directed, Outcome-Informed Conflict Management... 111 Client-Directed Conflict Management. .. 111 Outcome-Informed Conflict Management... 112 Session Rating Scale... 113 13 Family Mediation... 115 Communication... 118 Tolerance... 119 14 Brief Comparison with Other Models . . 121 Building Solutions Is Different from Problem Solving... 121 Problem Solving Mediation and Solution-Focused Mediation: A Comparison... 123 Transformative Mediation and Solution-Focused Mediation: A Comparison... 124 Narrative Mediation and Solution-Focused Mediation: A Comparison... 125 Conclusion... 126 Research on Feedback... 127 15 Personal Injury Mediation... 129 Seating Arrangements... 131 Dollars and Cents ... 133 16 Failures... 135 Failures ... 135 Pathways to Impossibility. . 136 Solution-Focused Questions in Case of Failure... 138 Saving Face...138 xii Handbook of Solution-Focused Conflict Management 17 Victim-Offender Mediation... 141 Restorative Justice... 141 Reconciliation... 142 Victim-Offender Mediation... 145 Epilogue by Fredrike Bannink... 149 Epilogue by Kenneth Cloke... 151 References... 161 Websites ... 167 Appendices ... 169 Appendix 1: Protocol: First Meeting ... 170 Appendix 2: Protocol: Subsequent Meetings... 171 Appendix 3: Interactional Matrix... 172 Appendix 4: Externalization of the Conflict... 173 Appendix 5: Session Rating Scale (SRS V.3.0)... 174

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