Drawing on advice from the world's leading experts on conflict and communication — from relationship scientists to hostage negotiators to diplomats — a columnist for the New Statesman<.em> shows how to transform the heat of conflict, disagreement, and argument into the light of insight, creativity, and connection.
Eloquent, thoughtful advice about how 'productive disagreement' might be achieved; how in arguments we should strive for emotional connection, how we should actually listen to what our opponents have to say, how we should be intellectually curious, humorous, aware of our cultural biases, ready to acknowledge our mistakes. I disagree with Leslie in one matter only: his optimism ... For the internet is the unavoidable subject of this book, whether Leslie likes it or not ... From another perspective, the kind of reasoned, polite debate promoted by Conflicted may seem the product of another age — one in which public discourse was carried by the tiny minority of wealthy metropolitan pundits who had access to opinion columns, radio airtime and seats on political TV panels ... However seductive their feelings of moral superiority, Leslie’s book shows their rage all too often leads only to failure and futility ... but if you want to argue better, Leslie’s manual will be invaluable.
A fascinating rumination on how we could do better than berate others on Twitter, or in rival demonstrations ... it fits with his belief that it is better (and adaptive in an evolutionary sense) to empathise with your opponent than to attempt blindly to crush her or him. It is not only more pleasant, but also more effective ... Conflicted is among several books to focus on collective rather than individual intelligence, and how diversity and informed debate can improve outcomes ... Leslie is interested in emotion as much as intelligence, and how it can obstruct or assist the quest for truth. Despite its risks, and the pain and outrage it can cause when it leads to outright hostility, he is a believer in strong argument.
The book is not only useful for business buffs, but for anyone interested in having meaningful, collaborative conversations with successful outcomes ... he toolkit for productive argument is a major highlight of this book, but the examples can be lengthy and may take the reader a little off track. Recommend for anyone, as readers do not have to be in the field of conflict management to enjoy this book.