This book was a recommendation by someone close to me and fully worth it. The essence of Kohlrieser’s argument (a former hostage negotiator) is that we should not let ourselves be taken hostage by others or situations; in case we experience a conflict we can always choose our response (a function of the neocortex), even though our reptile brain might opt for fight or flight, and our Limbic system would respond in terms of emotions (do I like this or hate this). Truly successful leaders are able to create an organizational culture of safety that supports successful resolution of conflicts.

They do so by knowing how to manage the ‘bonding cycle’ (one of the principle concepts in the book), by being able to ‘put the fish at the table’, by being able to identify blockages to bonding, and by understanding and managing emotions. The book is too rich in content to explain in a short summary, but for those interested in more information: I found a very nice management summary of the book in Dutch on slideshare.