Award winning Peacemaker Douglas Noll Draws Correlation Between Conflict Resolution Skills and Divorce

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Douglas Noll, author of the award winning book Elusive Peace shows how peacemaking skills can prevent unwanted divorces. Irreconcilable differences, the most common reason for divorce, is a classic syndrome of two people unable to resolve conflict. "Rather than lack of desire, it appears to be lack of skills in resolving conflict and solving issues with couples," Noll explains adding that "based on surveys a high percentage of couples regret divorcing and feel as thought they didn't try hard enough." Peacemaking skills found in Elusive Peace offers communication skills key to resolve conflicts in relationships. Peacemaking starts in the home. Teaching children skills to successfully resolve problems creates a future community of peacemakers. Parents owe it to their children to learn skills needed to develop and maintain emotional intimacy, which peacemaking is a cornerstone," Noll says.

Douglas E. Noll Professional Mediator

Teaching children peacemaking skills creates a future community of peacemakers

Douglas Noll, author of the award winning book Elusive Peace draws the correlation between the high number of couples who regret their divorces and a lack of peacemaking skills. The most common reason cited for divorce is irreconcilable differences—which Noll describes as a failure to understand conflict resolution skills. “Couples get to the point where they have differences they cannot reconcile. The lack of skill to solve problems is a major contributor in unresolved conflicts,” Noll says.

Comedian and actor Russell Brand recently admitted that he regrets filing for divorce from his ex-wife pop artist Katie Perry, and wishes that he had tried harder to save his marriage. (

Brand’s sentiments all too often mirror a good majority of divorced couples. Noll points to statistic that show: “40% of divorced people regretted their divorce and thought it was preventable.” (Australian and New Jersey studies. (William J. Doherty, PhD, Family Social Science Dept., University of Minnesota, Bdoherty(at)che2(dot)che(dot)umm(dot)edu).

“Couples in high conflict relationships who divorce are most often at a point in their relationship where they cannot negotiate successful resolutions to conflict. Locked in win/lose belief systems, relationships often suffer irreparable damage," Noll points out.

Flooded with emotion, high conflict couples reach that pinnacle of distress where separating seems the safest option,” Noll explains. “Most people are unskilled in resolving conflict successfully. To negotiate peace in a high conflict situation where both parties are satisfied with the outcome is an area the average person is not schooled in. Unfortunately most couples learn how to argue and solve problems from their parents, and generational patterns show up in today’s relationships,” Noll explains, adding that “this failure to solve problems amicably and with skill regrettably sets up a poor example to children. Bullying and fighting becomes the norm.”

“As a peacemaker and professional mediator the dispute resolution skills we teach not only benefit diplomats, corporations and communities. Couples who learn to embrace peacemaking skills learn emotional intimacy and pass this valuable tool to their children,” Noll explains. Noll believes that peacemaking starts at home so that collaboration is the norm for solving problems and kids at home learn critical relationship building tools. “If we teach children at a young age healthy boundaries, good listening skills, and empathetic responses in communication, we will be raising a generation of adults who will make better decisions in issues involving our global community,” Noll says.

“However, when any relationship reaches a critical point, a skilled mediator is key for getting both parties to work together again,” Noll points out.

About Douglas Noll
Douglas Noll is the winner of the International Peace and Justice Book Award for Elusive Peace: How Modern Diplomatic Strategies Could Better Resolve World Conflicts. Doug is the 2012 winner of the CLAY award for co-founding the pro bono project Prison of Peace. Doug is a keynote speaker and sought after leader in the field of international, domestic and business conflicts. Doug is a sought after interview guest on TV and radio, and a keynote speaker and workshop presenter.

Doug is a full time peacemaker and mediator, specializing in difficult, complex, and intractable conflicts, an adjunct professor of law and has a Master’s Degree in Peacemaking and Conflict Studies. Mr. Noll is AV-rated and was a business and commercial trial lawyer for 22 years before turning to peacemaking. Doug is a founding board member of Mediators Beyond Borders, and the 2012 President of the California Dispute Resolution Council.

Noll is a Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators, a Distinguished Fellow of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators, a Diplomat of the California and National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, a core faculty member of the American Institute of Mediation, and on the American Arbitration Association panel of mediators and arbitrators. Mr. Noll was one of the first U.S. mediators certified under the international mediator standards established by the International Mediation Institute. Doug is the author of Elusive Peace: How Modern Diplomatic Strategies Could Better Resolve World Conflicts (Prometheus, 2011), the winner of the international peace and justice book award. Doug Noll is a core faculty member of the American Institute of Mediation, a preeminent mediation Training Institute founded by Lee Jay Berman.

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