By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer
A few years ago I read a book that really made me rethink how to handle people when they are angry or anxious. It’s called, “Conflict Unraveled” and it is written by Andra Medea. Recently, I recommended the book to a client that is having problems with conflict and I thought I’d recommend the book to you all on my blog.
From a stress management perspective, conflict, especially unresolved conflict, can create a lot of tension in a home or work environment. Yet, until the last few years when classes on bullying became more common in schools, I don’t recall ever having a class about how to manage conflict when I was in school. Nowadays, I read stories about bullies in the workplace, bullies in adult social groupings and of course, bullies on the playground. And there are books to help you deal with bullies and conflict at every level. What I like about Conflict Unraveled however, is that Medea shows us what happens physiologically when we face conflict, how the chemicals in our bodies effectively block rational thought through “flooding.” She also explains how our body language can escalate or deflate conflict.
Reading the book won’t magically make all your conflict related stress disappear. But it may give you some new tools in handling conflict that may make your life a lot less stressful!
Who is Andra Medea?
Growing up in one of the many urban villages in South Side Chicago, Andra Medea’s first eighteen years were sharply shaped by her Lithuanian-American background, the extreme diversity of the smaller neighborhoods, racial tension, and the violence of local riots. At age 18 she organized a conference about rape and co-authored the book Against Rape, published when she was just 20. She developed a self-defense technique that depends more on brain power than brawn, and in time studied aikido, which is the art of spirit over brawn. For years, she traveled throughout the country and internationally, teaching self-defense. She worked her way through college and earned a Master of Arts degree from DePaul University with a concentration in conflict management.
While teaching at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago, Andra developed her unique brand of conflict resolution, which had first germinated in her mind with the shoe-on-the-rooftop incident. Her first book on the subject, Conflict Unraveled, was published in 2004 and its follow-up, Going Home without Going Crazy, is scheduled for publication in October, 2006. Her trademark seminars are called Conflict Unraveled Toolkit.™ With a liberal dose of humor throughout her material, Andra presents a method for resolving conflict that really works. Just try it.
“Conflict is not a moral or legal issue,” Andra says. “It is a series of problems to be solved.” And Andra Medea is an unmatchable problem solver who, thankfully, has made her unique insights available to all of us.
She started Medea & Associates in 1987.
Her latest work is a 3-hour DVD from the American Bar Association, Working with Emotional Clients: The Virtual Tranquilizer® for Lawyers.
Read more about Andrea here.
Andra Medea Articles
The Virtual Tranquilizer ®
Andra Medea (Tips for managers and others who need to work under pressure.)
Seven Inexplicable Things Customers Do (and what to do about them)
Andra Medea (Reprinted in Fortune.com, Fast Company.com and over 40 magazines and newspapers around the country)
Bevel’s Principle of Communication
Bob Burg (Grace and finesse while working with others.)
Andra Medea Radio
Andra Medea has also been repeatedly interviewed on National Public Radio and WGN Radio.