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From Conflict to Nonflict
Joyce L. Gioia, CMC, CSP --  The Herman Group Joyce L. Gioia, CMC, CSP -- The Herman Group
Austin, TX
Wednesday, November 2, 2022


The Herman Trend Alert

November 2, 2022

From Conflict to Nonflict

Sometimes, Dear Readers, there comes a time when you must prioritize health and taking care of this important to us. That is what has happened to me in the last three weeks. If you want to read the October 19th Herman Trend Alert on Sabbaticals which was written but never sent out, pleased find it at https://hermangroup.com/alert/archive_10-19-2022.html. (There was no Herman Trend Alert October 26th. )

At the end of our 15-day Viking cruise in September, we landed in Montreal, Canada. There, I had the pleasure of meeting Stephen Hecht, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Peacemaker (CEP) of Million Peacemakers. Co-author of the book Nonflict: The Art of Everyday Peacemaking, Stephen is dedicated to helping individuals transform conflict. His is the first method I have encountered that might work to establish world peace.

Who is Stephen Hecht?

A successful Real Estate developer by background, Stephen knew there was something more he wanted to do to establish a legacy. Another element in his process was a rather unpleasant divorce; he knew there had to be a better way to resolve conflict and set about to find it. Besides being CEP of Million Peacemakers, he is an international leader in the Young Presidents Organization (YPO).

The Creation of Nonflict

Stephen had seen that traditional ways of dealing with conflict did not work for the long term. There were no long-term winners in war. He wanted to find a more constructive way of dealing with conflict to learn for himself and for other YPO members and their families. He thought it would be easy to find an author whose work he could use, so he bought and devoured a dozen books. After finding most of them written by and for PhD's and too academic for the public at large, he was introduced to Dr. Amir Kfir, an organizational psychologist with Amirror who had led peace forums between conflicting nation-state parties for decades and who agreed to facilitate the creation of a more accessible practice. The goal was to come up with a process that was so simple that once learned, it could fit on a back of a business card, and so powerful it could work with any conflict. Together with a team of academics and practitioners "Nonflict" was born. The workshop was then shared with 700 members, spouse/partners and young adults with life changing results. The follow-up was for Amir and Stephen to co-author a book together.

Nonflict's Three-Step Process for Transforming Conflict

The first step is: 1. Understand yourself and the other. The "other" may be your partner or a group of people. This understanding involves sharing your view of the conflict and asking yourself "What is the conflict? How does it make me feel? And what is important for me?" Likewise, it is vital to have that information from the other person and especially, to make sure that you understand each other through active listening. The second step is: 2. Understand your shared reality. This step involves the two (or more) of you discussing together the real underlying conflict, what is working well, and particularly, what is the worst-case scenario if the conflict is not resolve. In this step, it is vital to visualize facts and feelings, so that you personalize the conflict. The final step is to: 3. Co-create your shared ideal reality. To get to your ideal reality, it is suggested that you ask each other: When we visualize facts and feelings, think about the best-case scenario and how it would feel. What are the obstacles to our achieving the best-case scenario? What can we do to overcome controllable obstacles? Who will do what and when?

Nonflict Really Works

Stephen has successfully taught the Nonflict model to members of his Young Presidents Organization, leaders in the Vatican and global religious leaders, as well as groups of Palestinians and Israelis, and even Russians and Ukrainians. The model may also be used to resolve conflicts between individuals and in companies by giving the people involved the tools they need to come to resolution together.

The Destructive Effect of Conflict in Business

Due to destructive conflict, 7 percent of payroll is wasted. The average employee spends 2.8 hours a week dealing with conflict, while managers spend an average of 25 percent of their time focused on disagreements. Corporations spend a lot of effort and money dealing with conflict in a destructive rather than constructive way. That's why it is has been very valuable for members of YPO, who are CEOs of their companies, to have Stephen or his trained coaches do trainings with their various chapters and businesses globally.

Million Peacemakers

To help promote the Nonflict way, Stephen created the organization Million Peacemakers. Million Peacemakers trains people to help facilitate individuals and groups to apply the model. Since launching just 8 years ago, over 230,000 people from over 130 countries have been trained in Nonflict. Million Peacemakers has received awards from the YMCA and from YPO. The Nonflict way has been taught at renowned universities and business schools worldwide. The organization is built on the premise that "Every conflict is an opportunity for greater understanding," and is "committed to empowering youth, families, and businesses to find freedom from destructive conflict."

Futureproofing Million Peacemakers with a Youth Initiative

Thinking about the future, Stephen created the Youth Initiative. He calls it his program to "future proof" his organization. By planning now, the organization can survive beyond his lifetime. By recruiting young leaders now, he is having wonderful young people to take Million Peacemakers to the next level. In various workshops delivered by the organization, Stephen found that it seemed to be easier for the younger people to embrace change in the way they deal with conflict. Perhaps they had fewer years of bad habits. And perhaps most importantly, young people are very passionate about making a change in the world.

Does Peace Really Have a Chance?

With so very much conflict throughout the planet, it seems unlikely that peace could prevail throughout the world. However, when one looks at the global success of the Nonflict methodology, it is hard not to at least consider the possibility.

Next Week's Herman Trend Alert: The Consequences of Food Choices

Imagine being able to put a number on the minutes of life expectancy based on the food choices we make. The 2021 study published in the research journal Nature Food. This impressive study based on the work of over 7,000 researchers worldwide. This Alert will have you reconsidering your food preferences, and you may never eat another hotdog again.



Organizations that use foresight are 33% more profitable and grow 200% faster than those that don't. At the upcoming EAW Conference, Joyce Gioia will share futures methods to help participants walk away with enterprise-wide innovations, as well as tools they can use with their teams. For more information, visit https://eawconference.org/.

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Joyce L. Gioia, CMC, CSP
Title: Certified Speaking Professional and Management Consultant
Group: The Herman Group
Dateline: Austin, TX United States
Direct Phone: 336-210-3548
Main Phone: 800-227-3566
Cell Phone: 336-210-3548
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