September 7, 2006

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects: The Anatomy of Peace

By: Jack @ 3:30 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict
by The Arbinger Institute, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 200 Pages, $22.95 Hardcover, August 2006, ISBN 1576753344
I have been doing Jack Covert Selects reviews for years now and this review was the hardest to write. This book is loaded with profound insight into the way we perceive life and how we can control our own mindsets. The ample amount of good stuff was just so hard to boil down.
The book is a fable, the story of a two-day workshop where adults who are having problems with their kids, spouses or their work life, go to fix their world. The workshop is run by a Palestinian and an Israeli who have learned to conquer their differences..
The authors use a pyramid metaphor with three distinct lessons. Particularly important is lesson one: Most time and effort should be spent at the lower levels of the pyramid. The authors say:

Remember, we want to spend most of our time in the levels of the pyramid below correction, which is exactly opposite of what we normally do. We want to spend most of our time actively helping things go right rather than dealing with things that are going wrong. We want to get out of the box, build relationships, listen and learn, teach and communicate. Where circumstances are such that we choose to engage in correction of some kindwhether it is putting a little child in a time-out or by sending war planes into the skies above a country that has attacked usthe lower levels of the pyramid become more important. Correction is by nature prevocational. So where we choose to correct, we need to increase our efforts at the lower levels of the pyramid all the more

This book kept me thinking throughout with its complex subject matter presented simply. On a personal level, I found many examples of how I was looking at people wrongly and by doing so, was treating them wrongly. On a more global level, I could apply these lessons to any international conflict seen on CNN and see how this process can be used to end age-old conflicts that have plagued society for many years.