Based on a the Arbinger Institute’s The Anatomy of Peace ideas, Chad Ford, an international conflict mediator and a facilitator for the Arbinger Institute as well as an executive board member for Peace Players as well as a writer, analyst and entrepreneur covering the NBA and NBA Draft for ESPN, has fashioned a wonderful book on conflict resolution for not just the work place but also for our personal lives and even for the political area.
He defines conflict as “our inability to collaboratively solve problems with other people.” His solution is a simple one, to “transform our fear of conflict by leaning how to love the people we are in conflict with through the conflict?” This is what he terms “Dangerous Love”.
His book is not a head-in-the- cloud’s idealistic manuscript stemming from the 1960s love movement. No, He deals with real-life people in real-life situations and near-impossible to the naked eye conflicts. It’s easy to love those who are loving. Ford offers a means to love those who are seen as unlovable simply by turning from our own prejudices and fears and learning who they are.
Dangerous Love addresses our feelings toward conflict itself and how we justify our role in that conflict. Ford offers a way to make the changes that are needed internalyl rather than waiting for an external adjustment. How we see the world, how we can grow through conflict rather than be destroyed by it offers hope. He uses the analogy of Smog Thinkers and Cocoon Thinkers, explaining their approach to conflict and the difference in the outcomes.
Ford addresses ‘self-deception’ and the I-It style of seeing people as opposed to the I-Thou style using valuable case studies. He also offers challenges that will help the reader to understand how self-deception happens, what it is, and how to overcome it. I found the chapter The Ultimate Justification extremely relevant today. Convincing our friends to view those we are in conflict with to see them the same as we do. I’ve seen this occur time and time again. This type of justification is rampant in today’s political arena and causes a huge divide, magnifying the conflict.
Dangerous Love offers instruction and insight that is imperative in our world today, and Ford presents it in the most humble and passionate way possible by using some of his own personal struggles that he candidly describes in his book. True leadership comes when a man can be transparent and trudge the path he expects others to follow. In his book Dangerous Love, Chad Ford holds back nothing. Not once is he ‘preaching’ to his readers, but rather offers his own experiences as a means for all of us to learn from.
The book is professionally written, and not only informative, but a page turner. The personal case studies are engaging, and I found myself wanting to know how these people whose stories are used as examples resolved their conflicts. There are charts and figure drawings to illustrate Ford’s points.
In summary I will say it again. The entire world needs to read this book! I give Dangerous Love five stars!