Episode 43: The transformative approach to conflict

In this episode I´m delighted to be joined by Dr. Joseph Folger, professor of Adult and Organizational Development at Temple University in Philadelphia. He´s also the author of a seminal book in the field of mediation, a book he co-wrote together with his colleague Robert A. Baruch Bush; The Promise of Mediation – the Transformative Approach to Conflict. In the first part of this interview he explains the traditional approach to conflict mediation and the typical way of viewing conflict in general, before going more into detail regarding the transformative approach in particular. He demonstrates how this approach seeks to support the movement away from states of weakness and self-absorption and into ways of interaction that are positive, constructive, connecting and humanizing. He further explains how this transformation relies on empowerment and recognition shifts and how the fear of conflict interaction (not the conflict itself) is what often keeps people locked in destructive ways of relating to each other. So what can a mediator do to support a more constructive way of conflict interaction, and how can the transformative approach be applied outside the context of mediation? For instance, how can the transformative view help individuals self-manage their own conflicts?

If you feel inspired or provoked by our conversation feel free to add your comments after the interview. You can also send in a written piece of work and get it published together with this episode. Further details can be found here.

Episode links:
Joseph Folger
Transformative Mediation
The Norwegian Mediation and Reconciliation Service (Konfliktrådet)

James Alexander Arnfinsen (redaktør)
James Alexander Arnfinsen (33) er lærer og arbeider ved Åsvang Skole i Trondheim. Han har i tillegg en variert opplæring innenfor dialogbasert prosessledelse, nærværstrening og konflikthåndtering. I fritiden trener og instruerer han aikido. Han er oppvokst i Oslo, men har studert og arbeidet i Trondheim siden 2005. Ta kontakt med James på følgende adresse: james.arnfinsen @ gmail.com
James Alexander Arnfinsen (redaktør)
James Alexander Arnfinsen (33) is a teacher, his subjects being geography, religious studies and sports science. He is currently working as a teacher in primary school. In his free time he practices Aikido, a Japanese martial art that in it´s essence is about creating a healing relationship towards oneself and others. James lives in Trondheim, Norway.