Introduces a new form of conflict management that is shorter, more hopeful, and more cost-effective than traditional methods – essential reading for mediators, lawyers, jury experts, and managers.
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 competencies 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.
"Frederike [Bannink] has clearly carried out an amazing amount of research and the book is liberally peppered with references that give strength and credibility to her proposed approaches. [...] the real value of the book lies in the practical, step by step processes that are outlined together with the practical guidance and Solution-Focused questions that any reader can immediately start using to put this approach into practice. [...] The book is written from a mediator’s perspective and includes some useful comparisons to other mediation models as well as practical tools for the mediator to use to reflect on and evaluate their effectiveness including how to deal with “failures”. However, it is equally valuable to anyone who is not formally trained as a mediator but find themselves in the role of helping resolve conflict between others."
Antoinette Oglethorpe, a Partner of Banana Park Consulting, in Interaction. The Journal of Solution Focus in Organisations, Vol. 2 (2), 2010
"I believe [this book] can be of considerable value in helping its readers think more creatively about breaking through conflict... its major tenets and practical techniques are easy to understand and to apply.
Readers from a variety of professional backgrounds may be inspired by reading this book to try new approaches to messy, conflict-ridden situations, to see the world of conflict in a different light, and to inspire hope for conflict resolution."
Rodney L. Lowman in PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 55, No. 51, 2010
"[Solution-Focused] conflict management, sometimes called [Solution-Focused] mediation, is applicable in all settings where there is a conflict and people decide to do something about it, from divorce conflicts, family and neighbour conflicts, team and labour conflicts, personal injury conflicts to international conflicts. ...
[The author] has clearly carried out an amazing amount of research and the book is liberally peppered with references that give strength and credibility to her proposed approaches. ... For me, the real value of the book lies in the practical, step by step processes that are outlined together with the practical guidance and [Solution-Focused] questions that any reader can immediately start using to put this approach into practice."
Antoinette Oglethorpe in InterAction, Vol. 2, No. 2, 2010
"This is an excellent book! Frederike Bannink has done a wonderful job in explaining what the solution-focused approach is all about and how it can be applied effectively to the prime problem of humankind - solving conflicts between people."
Ben Furman, Psychiatrist, Director of Helsinki Brief Therapy Institute
"Nearly everyone thinks of conflict resolution as focused on solutions, but exactly how this is to be done has remained something of a mystery - until now. Fredrike Bannink offers dozens of ideas, strategies and techniques that can be used by conflict resolution practitioners to improve their effectiveness. A very useful book."
Kenneth Cloke, Mediator and President Mediators Beyond Borders, USA
"As usual Fredrike Bannink writes with clarity and knowledge. This book draws together proof from many sources to support her central teachings. The results of these discoveries will help you to use her suggestions in new ways and in new settings."
Alasdair Macdonald, Psychiatrist and Trainer for Cooperation in the Workplace, UK
"With solution-focused conflict management a unique approach to mediation is presented that in the coming years will find its place along with other already existing models. What is special about it certainly becomes clear in this book."
Friedrich Glasl, Mediator, Austria
"I am very impressed how Fredrike Bannink develops the ideas, tools and attitudes of solution-focused conflict management so clearly and comprehensively. Especially the step-by-step way she presents good solution-focused questions, describes their effects, and connects them with clear examples from many different areas of life makes it easy to follow. For those already acquainted with conflict resolution I see great potential for gathering new impulses and ideas that are easy to use and implement in their interventions."
Peter Roehrig, Coach and Mediator, Germany
"This book made me realize that a conflict is only a chance to exercise our own ability to bring peace and satisfaction to our own lives and to those of others. And it beautifully illustrates how we can experience the joy of developing ourselves into wiser human beings if we can cross the borders of difference with a positive shift in focus of attention. Many Japanese people might re-learn this spirit of harmony in our tradition with renewed wisdom".
Yasuteru Aoki, President, Solution Focus Consulting Inc., Japan
"Fredrike Bannink's Handbook of Solution-Focused Conflict Management is a valuable addition to the growing literature for mediation professionals, providing new and useful insights into the theory and application of the solution-focus approach to conflict management. Mediators, both new and experienced, will find this handbook an important resource for developing more effective techniques for assisting parties to resolve their disputes by achieving maximum non-zero cooperative outcomes while restoring relationships or ending them in a less hostile and confrontational manner. Coming from her experience as a clinical psychologist, Bannink cogently demonstrates why mediators should encourage participants to focus their attention on finding solutions rather than dwelling on the historical facts behind the problems as the preferred path to conflict resolution."
Myer J. Sankary, Mediator-Lawyer, ADR Services, Inc., Los Angeles; Past President of Southern California Mediation Association, USA
"Fredrike Bannink's Handbook of Solution-Focused Conflict Management offers an important guide to bending conflict situations toward improved ends. Few people enjoy dealing with conflict, but the options, leaving things unattended or pursuing litigation, are almost always worse. Bannink moves us beyond traditional approaches to solution-focused models that assist participants to be at their best. Solution-focused conflict management insists that participants maintain responsibility for finding their own best solutions. Bannink's book moves us beyond barely sufficient dialogue and barely sufficient solutions to most capable dialogue and most capable solutions."
James C. Melamed, JD, CEO of Mediate.com, USA