World Book Day 7 March 2019

March 7th, 2019

For World Book Day 2019 the Resolution at Work team recommend their favourite books:

Alison: “Mediating Dangerously” by Ken Cloke

Mediating Dangerously by Ken ClokeA guru of the world of mediation. This book was an inspiration to me in my early days as a mediator. It invites mediators to take risks to create real learning and transformational change rather than to take the easy option of a quick compromise. I try to be courageous, encourage honesty and challenge assumptions; this carries risk but holding on to things as they are in a conflict situation is even more dangerous.


Dionne: “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R Covey

Dionne DuryThis book resonated with me on many levels; from my experience of managing staff as well as character traits of family and friends. Understanding the seven habits and applying these to work and home life has helped me; not only in my work as a conflict resolution expert but also in everyday life.

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Covey takes you on a journey which makes you rethink many fundamental assumptions and attitudes. One of the habits, to seek first to understand and then to be understood, seems obvious when you first read it but it is amazing how so many of us fail to do this by interrupting others, as we want to make our point first, only hearing what we want to hear or pretending to listen whilst doing something else. The power of true empathetic listening cannot be underestimated; a skill that I regularly need in my work but one that has also proved to come in handy at home with my husband and two young children!

If you are a manager or leader or simply want to understand the psyche of human behaviour in a bit more detail then I would highly recommend this book.

Sarah: “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman

Sarah EmbletonA book I read years ago when a student and which still resonates with me and which was quite groundbreaking at the time is Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence (EI).  The book came out at a time when, arguably, institutions and employers tended to focus on grades/IQ and often neglected to consider an individual’s ability to be self aware, empathetic and able to control their emotional impulses – all signs of well developed EI.

The book explores the impact of EI on behaviours and is a good read for those interested in understanding people and what motivates them. It looks at the power of emotions, how one can understand and control emotional impulses, read others’ emotions and feelings and deal with relationships…and addresses how important an understanding of EI is in the workplace – in terms of work relationships, managing others, understanding conflict and – ultimately – how it impacts on the bottom line for businesses.

It looks at how emotions can impact on day to day activities and encourages an understanding of how conflicts arise and how to deal with (and reduce) them, by being “emotionally intelligent”.

It is a book I have revisited from time to time and is still an interesting read more than 20 years on!

John: “Staying with Conflict – A strategic approach to ongoing disputes” by Bernard Mayer

Bernie Mayer challenges us in this book to look beyond conflict resolution at how we can enable people to “stay with conflict”. Many conflicts do not have a resolution as such – for example, there will always be tension and friction which will often develop into harmful conflict between generations, between employers and employees, between women and men, between minority and majority groups. The challenge is to enable people to find constructive ways to live with these tensions and live life to the fullest despite them!

“Our satisfaction with our lives, “ Mayer writes, “may be more determined by our ability to stay and evolve with enduring conflicts than by the success we have in resolving those conflicts.”

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It’s always been an absolute pleasure to work with Dionne.  She is always professional, prompt to respond and looking for a constructive outcome in every situation.  We have greatly appreciated the work she has done for us. Working with witnesses in what can often be challenging circumstances requires a high level of emotional intelligence and skill.  Throughout Dionne managed every meeting with professionalism and sensitivity, working towards a constructive outcome for all parties.  Her communication was prompt and focussed and allowed the company to entrust her with managing a complex situation greatly enhancing the value to the business and to managers involved.  This is an incredibly challenging environment and Resolution at work and, Dionne in particular, have delivered for the company without fail. The value gained from being able to trust Dionne/Resolution at Work to manage complex casework has been immensely valuable to the organisation.  It gives an independent and professional credibility to the process and enhances the reputation of the business as a result.

Andy Perry, Head of HR, Radioactive Waste Management Limited | Head of HR, Radioactive Waste Management Limited

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