Institute for Environmental Negotiation

Empowering communities to create shared solutions

Reaching for Higher Ground

By E. Franklin Dukes, John Stephens, Marina Piscolish

(2009: BookSurge Publishing)
A hands-on manual for learning the leadership skills that take you beyond compromise to higher ground. In this visionary book, the authors present their challenging, innovative and principled approach to problem solving within groups. Reaching for Higher Ground is filled with the practical information and illustrative examples that group leaders and conflict resolution leaders would need to achieve extraordinary outcomes with any group.

Reaching for Higher Ground

In conflict resolution few groups harness the power of their members’ collective wisdom and aspirations to achieve something out of the ordinary. In fact, effective, powerful groups and positive group experiences tAnd to be the exception. How can groups go beyond the common experience and reach for higher ground? There is a simple, but not simplistic answer.In Reaching for Higher Ground in Conflict Resolution, John Stephens, Frank Dukes and Marina Piscolish present an original approach to group problem solving and conflict transformation, demonstrating the value of setting up and maintaining deep commitments and broadly shared expectations as an integral part of effective group process. As the authors show, this practical approach can go a long way toward creating authentic community and sustainable agreements in group settings.For everyone who works in and with groups-including mediators, managers, committee chairs, team leaders, consultants, teachers, and trainers-Reaching for Higher Ground in Conflict Resolution presents clear principles and proven techniques for productive group experience. The book includes a wealth of examples and practical advice on how to guide groups to: articulate the values they hold dear, develop the principles that will guide their efforts, and clarify the shared expectations that will be honored throughout their work. Here you will find the knowledge and learn the skills necessary to demystify and facilitate conflict transformation and successful group problem solving. Easily applied to a wide variety of organizations and group settings, these practical and flexible tools and techniques include:? Advice for getting group buy-in to the need for shared expectations? Directions for guiding a group’s development of context- and culture-sensitive shared expectations? Ideas for determining the right level of attention to shared expectations given the group’s characteristics and needs?