• Conflicted

  • How Productive Disagreements Lead to Better Outcomes
  • By: Ian Leslie
  • Narrated by: Matthew Lloyd Davies
  • Length: 7 hrs and 52 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (63 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Drawing on advice from the world’s leading experts on conflict and communication - from relationship scientists to hostage negotiators to diplomats - Ian Leslie, a columnist for the New Statesman, shows us how to transform the heat of conflict, disagreement and argument into the light of insight, creativity and connection, in a book with vital lessons for the home, workplace, and public arena. 

For most people, conflict triggers a fight or flight response. Disagreeing productively is a hard skill for which neither evolution nor society has equipped us. It’s a skill we urgently need to acquire; otherwise, our increasingly vociferous disagreements are destined to tear us apart. Productive disagreement is a way of thinking, perhaps the best one we have. It makes us smarter and more creative, and it can even bring us closer together. It’s critical to the success of any shared enterprise, from a marriage, to a business, to a democracy. Isn’t it time we gave more thought to how to do it well? 

In an increasingly polarized world, our only chance for coming together and moving forward is to learn from those who have mastered the art and science of disagreement. In this book, we’ll learn from experts who are highly skilled at getting the most out of highly charged encounters: interrogators, cops, divorce mediators, therapists, diplomats, psychologists. These professionals know how to get something valuable - information, insight, ideas - from the toughest, most antagonistic conversations. They are brilliant communicators: masters at shaping the conversation beneath the conversation. They know how to turn the heat of conflict into the light of creativity, connection, and insight. 

In this much-needed book, Ian Leslie explores what happens to us when we argue, why disagreement makes us stressed, and why we get angry. He explains why we urgently need to transform the way we think about conflict and how having better disagreements can make us more successful. By drawing together the lessons he learns from different experts, he proposes a series of clear principles that we can all use to make our most difficult dialogues more productive - and our increasingly acrimonious world a better place. 

©2020 Ian Leslie (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

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One of the best books of the year

This book from Ian Leslie quickly became one of my favorites on this subject. Most books that discuss conflict say they have the goal of decreasing polarization and encouraging conversations, but I think they miss the mark. Don't get me wrong, I love books like The Coddling of the American Mind, but it's easy to see how people can feel attacked by the book. Rather than taking a "toughen up" and "be more resilient" stance, Ian Leslie sells his ideas by explaining how conflict is one of the healthiest things we can have in any relationship. Through this book, you'll find how conflict can help with your home, family, work, and intimate relationships.
 
The first part of this book lays the foundation by explaining that conflict is not only inevitable, but it's necessary. I've seen how true this is because I'm in the healthiest relationship of my life because we're not afraid to work through conflict. I have the best job of my life because my company fosters a culture of healthy conflict and disagreement. If you're not able to challenge thoughts and ideas in a calm, mature way, you can quickly get stuck in an echo chamber that leads to disaster. But how do we navigate conflict in a healthy way? Well, that's what the second half of this book is all about. Through stories and psychological research, Ian Leslie teaches everyone the importance of conflict, and I really hope this book gets the attention it deserves.

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Extremely helpful

Good mix of narrative (stories) and content. Beneficial for anyone, whether a romantic partner, a family member, or a therapist.

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Some rational thinking about a difficult topic

Excellent book. The power of curiosity, building connections, taking a different perspective than your own. Conflict is constructive, improves your thinking and improves your relationships if you're doing it correctly.

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Enlightening

Helps me to be better understand how to bring out the best in others in bad situation.