“World peace begins with inner peace.” ~ Dalai Lama

Consultants, Mentors, Trainers, Coaches, and Facilitators

Those who focus on developing people personally and professionally.

C-Suite Executives, Senior & Mid-Level Managers, Junior Managers & Supervisors

Those who feel they are limiting themselves personally or professionally, based on their ability to interact with others.

Teachers, Guidance Counselors, and School Administrators

Those who want to positively impact their means of interacting with colleagues, relating to students, and to their student’s parents.

Awards & Accolades

According to the 2013 Executive Coaching Survey—conducted by Stanford Graduate School of Business—how to handle conflict ranks as the highest area of concern for CEOs. When asked what is the biggest area for their own personal development, nearly forty-three percent of CEOs rated conflict management skills the highest.


My Struggles with Conflict.
Focused on the destructive nature of living conflict, chronicling the causes, the behavior that resulted, and the aftermath.

Certified Professional Coaching.
Chronicles the training and philosophies that were instrumental in my learning to manage conflict. Learning to manage conflict within myself prepared me to help others work through their own challenges.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Induced by Abandonment.
Introduces the great work done by Susan Anderson in identifying post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) induced by abandonment. In my case specifically, PTSD induced by abandonment exacerbated my already volatile tendency.

Learning to Manage Conflict.
My five-step process evolved out of the sheer need to create a repeatable, explainable, and deliverable model to help others through a codified approach. It’s simply the formulized, structured, and packaged version of the evolution of my own healing. It worked for me, and it’s worked for thousands of my clients.

Helping Others Learn to Manage Conflict.
The chapters devoted to each of the five steps focus on my work with people struggling with conflict. Each chapter explains the theory behind the step, and chronicles one or more actual coaching engagements, focusing specifically on the topics associated with that step.


The Super Wicked Problem. While becoming a Certified Professional Coach, I learned some painful things about myself. One of which was: I was the source of the conflict that I was experiencing in my life, and when I stopped being that source, all of the conflict melted away.

Now, I use a concept called a Super Wicked Problem to help others understand how they themselves may be the source of the conflict that they are experiencing in their own lives.

A Super Wicked Problem exists when: the people that want to solve the problem also create it. The most effective method to combat a Super Wicked Problem is to first understand how you are participating in the problem, and then stopping that participation.

“Intense, personal and vulnerable. This is a life lesson, generously shared, that might strike a chord and change a life.”

– Seth Godin


"Managing conflict is not only a state of mind, it's a state of understanding." ~ R. W. Burke

1) Reflection: The Source of Conflict

Focuses on framing the book, setting the readers expectations for what will follow. Introduces the blend of ideas that drive the book’s message and the processes for reaching that goal.

2) Readiness: The Advent of Self-Awareness

Focuses on the dynamics and circumstances that invited the change in me. Introduces the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching’s Core Energy Coaching approach. Chronicles my training as a certified professional coach. Introduces the idea of change as a function of elevated self-awareness and increased other-awareness.

3) Rage—Borne of Conflict, Becoming Conflict

Focuses on the events that shaped me, my worldview, my defensive orientation, and my continuous strife. I spend the time to tell my story, because in the work I do, people who struggle with conflict most, say to me, “You just described my life.”

4) Reality—Broken Rules, Broken Life

Focuses on my old view of the world—Life is hard. People suck. There isn’t enough. Things can’t change. I can’t break through. I’m not good enough—as flawed as it was. In my coaching, I find that, just as I did, people hold themselves back, personally and professionally, based on their ability to get along with others.

5) Reason—History, Influencing the Present

People struggling to manage conflict who also suffer from PTSD induced by abandonment experience more frequent and more intense emotional reactions due to the traumas they’ve experienced in the past. So learning to manage conflict within myself, along with understanding how my history complicated that effort, was essential to my creating a more peaceful existence for myself.

6) Responsibility—The Super Wicked Problem

Focuses on the idea of a “Super Wicked Problem,” the idea that those who want to solve the problem, are also causing it. The only way to combat a Super Wicked Problem is understanding how we are participating in the problem, and then stopping that participation. Conflict can only exist if we actively participate in it.

7) Realize—Step 1—People and Personal Values

Focuses on identifying our personal values and our values-driven behavior. Introduces my approach to helping people discover their personal values.

8) Recurrence—Step 2—Identifying Hot Situations

Focuses on identifying the situations that are prone to offend your personal values. It’s important to be able to identify your “hot” situations in order to effectively to manage them.

9) Reaction—Step 3—The Creation of Emotional Energy

Focuses on identifying your default mode of reaction. People react as Victims, or In Conflict. If we react as Victims, we’ll withdraw, stop communicating, feel helpless and powerless, and the prevailing idea is “I lose.” If we react In Conflict, we lash out, become angry and aggressive, argumentative and combative, and the prevailing idea is “I win.” Reactions create winners and losers.

10) Rampage—Being Conflict, and Highly Reactive

Focuses on me and what drove my emotional reactions over the years, how conflict pervaded my life, how self-survival mode quickly turned into self-destruct mode, and how a strength too strong, became an epic weakness.

11) Refrain—Step 4—The Theory of Reactivity—E2 =MC

Focuses on techniques to interrupt the emotional reaction. The single most important key to managing conflict, is removing the perceived intentionality associated with the behavior of others, towards us. That alone, will free us from conflict.

12) Reckoning—My Struggling with Faith, Math, and Abandonment

Focuses on my working through three seemingly intractable problems. Some that stifle reason, disable rational arguments, and essentially paralyze every conceivable cognitive weapon that could be brought to bear against them, requiring, wildly, unsubstantiated assertions, or eliciting hyper-passionate emotions—my abandonment, for example. Conflict at its purest, ugliest, and rawest form.

13) Response—Step 5—Coaching Yourself Up

Focuses on transforming negative emotional reactions into positive responses.

14) Resolve—How Learning to Manage Conflict Will Change Your Life (and the World)

Applies the five fundamental principles of managing conflict to current cultural challenges faced by large organizations and within disparate societies. It’s managing conflict, broadly applied, end-to- end, start-to- finish, with the hope for a more peaceful future for all.




I’m a Certified Professional Coach through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching. I hold a bachelor of science degree in accountancy from Providence College, and a master’s of business administration degree with a concentration in finance from Providence College’s School of Business.For twenty-nine years, I’ve worked in and around the automobile business. For the past five of those years, I’ve worked to become a top coach on Ford Motor Company’s Consumer Experience Movement (CEM) project, covering twenty-two dealerships in seven states. In my capacity as coach, I’m responsible for developing the dealerships’ 2,500 people (and the organizations themselves), both personally and professionally, to better understand the ways they’re limiting themselves in life and to break through those limitations to new levels of performance. As a result, I have logged thousands and thousands of hours of individual coaching, with the vast majority of those hours specifically focused on helping others manage conflict.

R. W. Burke
Glocester, Rhode Island

(401) 954-7813 Phone



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