Janet W. Rowles
In her mediation practice, Janet Rowles specializes in high conflict and emotionally difficult situations. Janet teaches the Tell Me More Gesture in workshops and speaking engagements. She trains mediators and other professionals in her workshops, Dealing with High Conflict and Inclusivity in Group Facilitation. A Minnesota native, her professional studies include a B.A. from Colorado College, a certificate in Dispute Resolution from Mitchell-Hamline Dispute Resolution Institute, and a M.A. in Human Development from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. Janet is trained in transformative mediation, eldercare mediation, circle keeping, and the social inclusion method for bullying in schools. Janet does small and large group work including circle-keeping and facilitating group discussions such as condo associations and non-profit board decision-making. Janet has been a volunteer-mediator for Conflict Resolution Center in Minneapolis since 2003 and was a board member there from 2004-2011. In 2013, Janet received a Peacemaker of the Year award from Minneapolis Public Schools for her circle work with pregnant and parenting teens. Janet was the videographer and voice behind the viral cellphone video of a police incident with an African-American pedestrian in 2016.
The Tell Me More Gesture: How & Why to Welcome Conflict
Author Janet Rowles begins her work with a surprising yet profound perspective on interpersonal conflict: “Conflict is an essential and unavoidable part of experiencing life to its fullest.” With this sentiment, she has created an indispensable guide to navigating conflict in a new way, one that does not urge readers to suppress or minimize their emotions—or the emotions of others in conflict with them—even when those emotions are perceived to be negative or messy.
Rowles taps into her own experiences of both conflict mediator (professionally) and instigator (personally) to take an empathetic approach toward helping others self-manage—and even welcome— their own conflicts. She encourages the reader to lean into conflict by saying three simple words: “Tell me more.”
Each chapter instills in the reader Rowles’ belief that embracing conflict rather than stifling it is essential for fulfilling our fundamental desires for deeper and more meaningful relationships. Throughout the book, Rowles utilizes a rich assortment of tools, tips, quotes, examples, and outside resources to aid the reader. Many of the pages contain pertinent quotations in the sidebar, drawing on the wisdom of great thinkers to speak to the conflict we all experience in life. Exercise boxes invite the reader into personal reflection throughout the chapters in addition to the journal entry spaces that appear at the end of each chapter.
This helpful dual-reflection format gets readers to engage in analysis while reading as well as after they’ve finished the chapter, giving them more time for absorption of the content. Together, these complementary parts create an invaluable resource for readers of all backgrounds.