Reading List: Negotiating the Nonnegotiable

Daniel Shapiro, a Harvard expert on conflict resolution, promises a “step-by-step method to resolve life’s most challenging conflicts.” But he delivers much more. For example, in the second chapter, “The Dual Nature of Identity,” Shapiro delves into the paradox of human personality—it feels both fixed and also changeable. “This paradox cuts right to the heart of conflict resolution,” Shapiro writes, using a scene from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to illustrate his point.

Related: Do You Cultivate or Stifle Conflict?

Alice realizes identity is both fluid and fixed, a fact that allows conflicts to be resolved. Based on Shapiro’s 20 years of research around the world, Negotiating the Nonnegotiable shows how threats to our sense of identity, what he calls “the Tribes Effect,” can make compromise seem impossible—in family conflict, a workplace dispute or even an international crisis. Shapiro has written a book of psychological, social and political significance.

By Daniel Shapiro
April; Viking; $28


This article appears in the April 2016 issue of SUCCESS magazine.

Chauncey Mabe

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