The problem of human conflict, wrote Jewish philosopher Martin Buber is that people do not say what they mean, nor do they do what they say. People are not usually consciously inconsistent. Instead, they act on a host of assumptions about which they themselves are often unaware. Paradoxically, conflict can provide an opportunity for developing greater insight and consistency.
Deep dialogue between parties in conflict can go a long way to helping bridge the gap between intentions, words and deeds. In the “Sayings of the Fathers” it is written that a hero is one who transforms an enemy in to a friend. This is the art of peacemaking. Such transformation can occur in deep dialogue when conflicting sides’ are able to clearly state what is important to them and why and further, after careful listening, articulate the other side’s core values, hopes and fears as they have heard them.