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From Conflict to Conciliation

From Conflict to Conciliation
How to Defuse Difficult Situations

Edited by:

April 2010 | 184 pages | Corwin
Conflict is inevitable, but educators can work together effectively if they understand how to defuse difficult situations before they escalate. This resource describes the Six-C process, a conflict resolution method that allows educators to take progressively more assertive steps as necessary to resolve disagreements.

Based on research and easy to remember, this approach helps readers handle challenging situations using the least amount of time and energy. Illustrated with many examples and scenarios, the six steps are:

- Concern: identifying actionable concerns

- Confer: expressing concerns in nonthreatening ways

- Consult: reviewing and clarifying the situation collaboratively

- Confront: considering consequences and giving clear warnings

- Combat: taking sustained, logical action

- Conciliation: mending the wounds and restoring relationships

Focused on preserving relationships while resolving disagreements, From Conflict to Conciliation can be used in any situation or setting, from the classroom to the community.

About the Authors
1. Conflict and the Six-C Process

Research and Anecdotal Support

What Is Unique About This Book?

The Six-C Process

The Conciliation Capstone

Saving Time and Energy

Conflict Is Inevitable

The Use and Misuse of Power

The Democratic Ideal

Why Everyone Matters

The Perceptual Tradition

When Viewpoints Conflict

Acceptance Versus Agreement


Major Themes

2. Concern
Latent Concerns

Actionable Concerns

What Is a Concern?

What Are Moral and Ethical Concerns?

What Are Your Concerns?

Potential Concerns at School

Potential Concerns at Home

Potential Concerns in the Community


Major Themes

3. Confer
Setting the Stage for Conferring

Can You Express Your Concern Clearly?

Can You Look Beyond the Immediate Concern?

Is There Room for Compromise or Re-Conceptualization?

The Value of Seeking Commitment

Helpful Communication Skills

The 3+++wish? Formula

Practicing the 3+++wish? Formula

Handling Challenges


Major Themes

4. Consult
Considering the Situation

What Is a Consulting Relationship?

Using a Triangular Structure

Involving Others in a Consultation

Sequential Steps for Consulting

Practicing the Consulting Sequence


Major Themes

5. Confront
Questions to Ask Yourself

Difference Between Conflict and Confrontation

Understanding Confrontation

Adapting Constructive Confrontation

Applying Practical Tips

Major Themes

6. Combat
Constraints on Combat

The Use of Power

Increasing Chances for a Desirable Outcome

Taking a Stand

Civilized Dissent


Major Themes

7. Conciliation and Beyond
Conciliation After Combat

Conciliation as a Reflective Process

Beyond Conciliation


Major Themes

References and Resources

"A very important and timely book that is well grounded in conflict theory and research. I especially appreciate that the strategies go beyond merely ending the conflict, but also speak to healing and seeking reconciliation. Purkey, Schmidt, and Novak have produced another winner to help educators create inviting and joyful schools."

Sally Butzin, President, Institute for School Innovation
Author of Joyful Classrooms in an Age of Accountability

"From the classroom to the boardroom, it’s inevitable for conflicts to happen. This book will introduce you to the six Cs, a logical process to tame those disagreements. The liberally sprinkled real-life anecdotes will keep you reading, and better yet, learning.”

Alexis Ludewig, Adjunct Instructor
Fox Valley Technical College

“This book is a valuable, useful resource for all educators and administrators and is a significant contribution to the topic of conflict resolution. It provides a step-by-step process that begins not with action but with internal feelings and the confronter’s response to a concern or conflict and concludes with addressing the healing of the internal emotional needs of both the confronter and those being confronted.”

Diane Smith, Counselor
Smethport Area School District, PA

"In the democratic approach to conflict resolution presented in this book, the goal is to resolve the conflict in a way that builds relationships. The Six-C approach provides a framework within which people can work together to attack the problem, not each other. By ending each conflict with conciliation, the people who use this approach in schools, hospitals, homes, and businesses will be able to do much more than resolve conflict—they can build each other up so future conflicts will be easier to resolve."

Bob Bowen, Chief Executive Officer
The Mandt System, Inc.

"Effective problem-solving skills are essential in the home, school, community, and in business and industry. The Six-C Process provides sequential steps and practical procedures to cultivate respect and solve problems."

Dallas J. Blankenship, Senior Consultant
Center for Quality People and Organizations, Inc.

“When your office door bursts open with an angry parent, teacher, or child, combat has already commenced and it is too late to regret your decision to not purchase this book beforehand.”

Billy Tate, Principal
Belvoir Park Primary School, Belfast, Northern Ireland

"The 6 Cs provide strategies to support us to move from conflict to conciliation in a most effective and economical manner. They also open up a new way of thinking to turn potential conflicts into possible means for mutual growth through this meaningful and inviting process."

Peter Kai-Hung Wong, Chief Curriculum Development Officer
Education Bureau of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China

"I highly recommend this book to anyone who works with today's youth. It will decrease teasing and bullying issues. I have used the six Cs for several years at my school and it works!"

Tom Carr, Elementary School Counselor
Carr Counseling & Consultation Inc.

"A practical guide to help educators and others who deal with the public determine how to choose your battles and deal with them at the least aggressive level using a logical and respectful process."

James A. Ratledge, School Improvement Consultant
Tennessee Exemplary Educator Program

"An ethically sensitive and compelling perspective on dealing with inevitable life conflicts in ways that are positive, beneficial, and self- and others-enhancing."

Betty L. Siegel, President Emeritus
Kennesaw State University

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ISBN: 9781412979863