Member Book Review: The Anatomy of Peace

By Deb Siverson, CPCC, PCC, WBE | President Xponents, and CWCC Member


I recently revisited the book, The Anatomy of Peace by the Arbinger Institute.  If you are unfamiliar with that work, the authors also penned Leadership and Self-Deception which, in my opinion, is a must-read for all managers.  The fundamental principal of both books is that it isn’t always the behaviors on the outside that impact our business and personal relationships; it is what is happening on the inside that can make all the difference.  Is our heart at war or at peace with others?

I have been reminding myself of the importance of listening.  I am a trained professional and I can demonstrate active listening in any given moment.  The question that Anatomy of Peace asks of me is, how am I “being” when I am “doing” active listening?  Do I really hear you?  Do I hold your needs with the same regard as I hold my own?  Or am I gathering information in support of my own agenda?  Am I responsive to others or am I resisting them?

I find the book empowering and liberating.  If we have the power to choose our response, regardless of another’s treatment of us, we can send a hard message but do it from a place of respect and compassion.   We do this by seeing others as people (out of the box) rather than objects (in the box).

I have learned over the years that true effectiveness has more to do with how we are on the inside than what we show on the outside.

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