Kendel Christensen's Reviews > The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict

The Anatomy of Peace by The Arbinger Institute
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really liked it
bookshelves: to-read, will-read-repeatedly
Read 2 times. Last read March 16, 2013.

At least as far as how my life was affected, the principles of human relations found in Leadership and Self-deception, and Crucial Conversations arrived to me first and so the four-star rating is perhaps unfair because the principles were no longer new to me. On its own, it probably merits all 5.

On its own, it is a quintessential example of a book that can change the way you think about the world--especially the people--around you. Here are some standout quotes:

"We should spend much more time and effort helping things go right than dealing with things that are going wrong. Unfortunately, however, these allocations of time and effort are typically reversed. We spend most of our time with others dealing with things that are going wrong. We try fixing our children, changing our spouses, correcting our employees, and disciplining those who aren’t acting as we’d like. And when we’re not actually doing these things, we’re thinking about doing them or worrying about doing them. Am I right?’”
(Arbinger Institute, Anatomy of Peace, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Fransisco, CA [2006],p. 16)

"In the way we regard our children, our spouses, neighbors, colleagues, and strangers, we choose to see others either as people like ourselves or as objects. They either count like we do or they don’t. In the former case, since we regard them as we regard ourselves, we say our hearts are at peace toward them. In the latter case, since we systematically view them as inferior, we say our hearts are at war.”
(Arbinger Institute, Anatomy of Peace, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Fransisco, CA [2006],p. 29)

“The most successful negotiators understand the other side’s concerns and worries as much as their own. But who is more likely to be able to consider and understand the other side’s positions so fully—the person who sees others as objects or the person who sees them as people? … People whose hearts are at war toward others can’t consider others’ objections an challenges enough to be able to find a way through them.”
(Arbinger Institute, Anatomy of Peace, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Fransisco, CA [2006],p. 35)

“Generally speaking, we respond to others’ way of being toward us rather than to their behavior. Which is to say that our children respond more to how we’re regarding them than they do to our particular words or actions.”
(Arbinger Institute, Anatomy of Peace, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Fransisco, CA [2006],p. 36)

“Have you ever been in a conflict with someone who thought he was wrong?”
(Arbinger Institute, Anatomy of Peace, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Fransisco, CA [2006],p. 56)

“No conflict can be solved so long as all parties are convinced they are right. Solution is possible only when at least one party begins to consider how he might be wrong.”
(Arbinger Institute, Anatomy of Peace, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Fransisco, CA [2006],p. 56)

“The deepest way in which we are right or wrong, is in our way of being toward others. I can be right on the surface—in my behavior or positions—while being entirely mistaken beneath, in my way of being. I might, for example, yell at my kids about the importance of chores and be entirely correct about their importance. However, do you suppose I invite the help and cooperation I am wanting from them when my heart is at war in my yelling?”
(Arbinger Institute, Anatomy of Peace, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Fransisco, CA [2006],p. 57)

“There is a question I have learned to ask myself, Gwyn, when I am feeling bothered about others: am I holding myself to the same standard I am demanding of them? In other words, if I am worried that others are getting a pass, am I also worried about whether I am giving myself one? Am I as vigilant in demanding the eradication of my own bigotry as I am in demanding the eradication of theirs?... If I’m not, I will be living in a king of fog that obscures the reality around and within me.”
(Arbinger Institute, Anatomy of Peace, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Fransisco, CA [2006],p. 95)

“No one, whatever their actions, can deprive me of the ability to choose my own way of being. Difficult people are nevertheless people, and it always remains in my power to see them that way.”
(Arbinger Institute, Anatomy of Peace, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Fransisco, CA [2006],p. 128)

“[Making your own heart at peace won’t solve many problems by itself.] But notice what it will do. Being out of the box will allow you for the first time to see the situation clearly, without exaggeration or justification. It will position you to begin to exert influence toward peace instead of provocation toward war. While you are correct that a heart at peace alone won’t solve your complex outer problems, those problems can’t begin to be solved without it.”
(Arbinger Institute, Anatomy of Peace, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Fransisco, CA [2006],p. 198)
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