Conflict Unravled: Fixing Problems at Work and in Families

Medea, Andra. Conflict Unraveled: Fixing Problems at Work and in Families. PivotPoint. May 2004. c.264p. ISBN 0-9745808-0-5. pap. $19.95. SELF-HELP

“Flooding,” as Medea (conflict management, Univ. of Chicago) terms adrenaline overload, “shorts out” our brains and leaves us “irrational, mule-headed, and quarrel-some.” Controlling flooding and its aftereffects is key to unraveling the titular conflicts. Specific kinds of situational conflict are discussed, and good tactical advice (e.g., “shorten your sentences” if you have to communicate while flooding) is provided in pithy and often funny examples of overload situations. Medea’s friendly, almost conspiratorial tone dovetails nicely with her direct writing. Though marred by occasionally indiscriminate advice (e.g., take a bat and literally smash glass bottles to relieve stress), this book is thorough and has a lot of heart. Along with titles that advise readers on structuring their lives, e.g., Bill Jensen’s The Simplicity Survival Handbook: 32 Ways To Do Less and Accomplish More, this book will form the nucleus of a nice little serf-help collection. Recommended for medium and larger public libraries.

This review appeared in Library Journal 129.9 on May 15, 2004 (p.103); the galley was shredded and recycled on October 12, 2012.

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