by Adam Kahane (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2004)
Any book that has a blurb from Nelson Mandela on the front cover must have something valuable to say about resolving conflict and political stalemates reasonably, peaceably, and compassionately. Kahane has worked with corporate, government, and civil leaders all over the world to help them understand how the hardest problems we face can be solved collaboratively if we are willing to revise the way we├»┬┐┼ôve been trained to communicate:
: ├»┬┐┼ôMost conventional approaches to problem-solving emphasize talking, especially the authoritarian, boss or expert, way of talking: telling. In a debate, each party prepares their position and speech in advance and then delivers it to a panel, which chooses the most convincing speech . . . This approach works for deciding between already created alternatives, but it does not create anything new.├»┬┐┼ô
There are many books about creating better dialogues├»┬┐┼ôit├»┬┐┼ôs a booming industry├»┬┐┼ôbut few can connect their methods to successes in systemic afflictions on the scale of apartheid. Kahane├»┬┐┼ôs combination of elegant prose, solutions from the small to the large, and stirring success stories makes this one required reading.