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The Inexorable Link Between Conflict and Change

Summary: Despite negative connotations often associated with the word, conflict can be a catalyst for change when seen as a learning opportunity. Constructive conflict reveals issues of importance, resulting in their clarification. It can build cohesiveness among participants in the conflict, fostering a positive group experience necessary for change. Author G. Ross Lawford describes four characteristics of authentic power that enable desires to be transformed into reality without inflicting force on others. People who have authentic power are respectful of relationships and are able to find win-win approaches that mutually satisfy the needs of all parties. Lawford suggests several techniques for accessing authentic power, but cautions that it is the principle behind the action that counts, not the action itself. A sidebar article explains the nature of automatic thoughts.

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