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From Conflict to Conciliation

From Conflict to Conciliation
How to Defuse Difficult Situations

Edited by:

February 2010 | 184 pages | Corwin

"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, those who use this approach can 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.

Don't let conflict get in the way of meaningful collaboration!

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
Key features
  • Educators can use the techniques described in this book with both peers and students
  • The book offers more than other conflict-resolution books because it acknowledges that conflict is inevitable while also stressing healthy ways to reach conciliation
  • Teachers and counselors can use the methods to model conflict-resolution skills for their students
  • The techniques are simple and easy to follow as well as theoretically sound.
  • The book is based on Invitational Education, a theory of practice maintaining that every person and everything in and around schools adds to or subtracts from the process of being a beneficial presence in the lives of human beings (

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ISBN: 9781412979863