Conflict is a normal part of life, but when there has been a serious betrayal of trust and security, working through that conflict can feel impossible. Sometimes it makes sense to stay in the relationship and sometimes its best to part ways. However, we don’t always realize it, but we stay connected to those we struggle with even if we’re not talking or interacting anymore. We stay connected with our thoughts about them, our resentments, our avoidance, our anger, our fear, and so on. How can we navigate this conflict and find peace regardless of the outcome of the relationship?  

In this episode, I interview author and professor Chad Ford, who is a world-renowned expert in conflict resolution. He recently wrote a book called “Dangerous Love” that opened my eyes on how we can better handle our own internal reactions to conflict so we can find peace and solutions. 

Here’s what Chad said about the book: “This book is about everything I’ve learned in the last 15 years working as a conflict mediator, professor and researcher trying to understand why I, and others, struggle through conflict and how to solve it. Dangerous Love explains why we struggle with conflict. How we disconnect from the people at the very time we need to be most connected to them. The predictable patterns of justification and conflict escalation that ensue. And most importantly, it gives us a path to let go of fear in the face of conflict.”

Chad Ford’s website :

About Chad Ford: After completing a Master’s degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law School in 2000, Chad was poised to begin his career as a conflict mediator and facilitator. In 2005 he left his full-time work with ESPN to become the Director of the David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding at BYU-Hawaii.

In Hawaii, Chad created a major and certificate program in intercultural peacebuilding, mediation and facilitation. Chad and his wife Amanda, who teaches courses in family conflict transformation and mindfulness, have worked with thousands of students from over 90 countries in the world. Chad’s work has earned him Professor of the Year honors at BYU-Hawaii and made Intercultural Peacebuilding one of the most popular programs on campus.

Chad’s work has frequently taken him out of the classroom and into conflict zones around the world. He’s made nearly 50 trips to the Middle East and has worked on numerous other conflicts around the world as both a mediator and a facilitator.

Chad has served as a senior consultant, speaker and facilitator for the Arbinger Institute since 2006 — working with governments, NGOs and corporations like Nike and the US Olympic team. He’s also helped Arbinger develop trainings and curriculum on conflict resolution as well as a training guide on reconciliation based on the documentary Beyond Right and Wrong.

The book Dangerous Love weaves Chad’s experiences from those five lives into a deeply personal exploration of how we transform fear and conflict. Chad’s work with young people in the classroom, athletes on the basketball court, struggling families in the living room, executives in the boardroom, and divided communities in some of the most challenging conflicts in the world gives him a unique perspective and voice to the conflicts that plague our families, our organizations and the world.

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