An award-winning conflict consultant offers a new path to take when agreement and collaboration seem impossible, and teaches us that when conflict resolution fails, we can achieve freedom instead—even without others’ cooperation.
A founding CEO and his top salesperson are engaged in a heated clash over her compensation package.
A mother and daughter are locked in a nasty cycle of blame and attack.
A high-profile executive team is struggling with aggressive political infighting.
In all these cases, every effort to talk it out has been unsuccessful.
Where can you turn when your attempts to resolve conflict fail? Most approaches emphasize collaboration. You are supposed to sit down, calmly talk through your differences, and find a solution. But what if nothing seems to work, no matter what you do?
When situations resist resolution, the Optimal Outcomes Method teaches us conflict freedom.
This innovative method, based on Dr. Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler’s training at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, two decades as a consultant to Fortune 500 and high-growth CEOs and senior teams, grassroots work with Middle East leaders, US government-funded research on terrorism, and her popular course at Columbia University, Optimal Outcomes reveals eight groundbreaking practices proven to help people everywhere free themselves from conflict.
With inspiring stories from clients, students, and Dr. Goldman-Wetzler’s own life lighting the way, you’ll learn to observe complex situations with clarity, access your shadow values (things you really care about but have been unwilling to admit), and take bold, simple, surprising action.
Optimal Outcomes blends mindfulness, Jungian psychology, and practical, step-by-step advice to free anyone from seemingly impossible conflict. Applying the practices, you’ll reach your Optimal Outcome—which may be vastly different from what you originally imagined, but more satisfying than you ever dreamed possible.
Dr. Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler is the founder and CEO of Alignment Strategies Group, the premier New York–based consulting firm that counsels CEOs and executive teams on how to optimize organizational health and growth. As a keynote speaker at Fortune 500 companies, public institutions and innovative, fast-growing startups, she inspires audiences of all kinds, including those at Google, Harvard and TEDx, and in her popular course at Columbia. A former counterterrorism research fellow with the US Department of Homeland Security, she is a graduate of Tufts University and holds a Ph.D. in Social-Organizational Psychology from Columbia University.
“Conflict is an inevitable part of life, but it isn’t an inevitable source of misery. This hands-on book is full of reflection exercises to help you spot the hidden patterns in your regular clashes and learn how to defuse them.” — Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take, and host of the chart-topping TED podcast WorkLife
“Every once in a while, you'll encounter a book and wish everyone you know would read it. This is one of those rare books. It will help you reset the way you think about conflict and help you become more productive, mindful and kind along the way.” — Seth Godin, author of This is Marketing
“I’ve watched Jennifer work her magic with global leaders. Now she has captured that wisdom in this book. If you read one business book this year, make it Optimal Outcomes.” — Jeffrey C. Walker, Chairman of New Profit, former Vice Chairman of JPMorgan Chase & Co., and coauthor of The Generosity Network
“Not every conflict can be solved by negotiation. With engaging real-world examples and a proven method, Optimal Outcomes will transform how individuals and organizations approach conflicts of all kinds.” — Doug Stone and Sheila Heen, coauthors of the New York Times bestseller Difficult Conversations
“Optimal Outcomes is a cool drink of water in a world over-heated by conflict. With clarity and heart-filled insight gained from decades of caring practice, Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler leads us down the path to conflict freedom, liberating us from the painful belief that conflicts are intractable.” — Jerry Colonna, author of Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up and CEO, Reboot.io
"A brilliantly written guide for the 21st century leader. Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler will change how you think about conflict and complexity, and more importantly, how you lead through it.” — Sharon Fay, Co-Head of Equities, AllianceBernstein
“Brimming with science-backed good advice, Optimal Outcomes will free you from the hidden patterns and shadow values that make conflict so difficult to resolve. A liberating approach that can change your life.” — Daniel L. Shapiro, Ph.D., Director, Harvard International Negotiation Program and author of Negotiating the Nonnegotiable
“An important, unique approach to dealing with conflict, even when one side may not be amenable. Highly recommended for anyone interested in applying a user-friendly methodology in their personal and professional interactions.” — Joshua Sinai, Ph.D., counterterrorism expert, Book Reviews Editor, Perspectives on Terrorism and columnist, The Washington Times
“Optimal Outcomes provides a simple but powerful method for dealing with breakdowns that seem unresolvable.” — Erica Ariel Fox, President, Mobius Executive Leadership and author of the New York Times bestseller Winning from Within
“Framed with…a kind but no-nonsense tone, this succinct and focused guide is a boon to anyone looking to turn arguments into negotiations and negotiations into agreement.” — Publishers Weekly