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The media love to remind us of the ubiquity of conflict. Stories of war, high-profile divorce, religious clashes, strikes and workplace disputes are some, and popular entertainment carries the theme into our daily lives. Conflict sells, and without it the soaps, and other TV and radio drama, would become anaemic, their storylines reduced to pale and wandering narratives of harmony and the hum-drum.

So it was a surprise to find that the Guardian had published an article on workplace mediation. In it, Louise Tickle says that “people realise that ongoing conflict is not good for them”.

As healthy relationships in all settings – domestic, international or organisational – demonstrate effective mechanisms for conflict resolution, maybe the time is approaching when people will begin to realise that conflict is not just something to be endured, but that in many cases it can also be cured.

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