I learned several valuable exercises from the late Harry Sloan when I took from him a 10-day course in psychosynthesis. (The 10 days were a part of a two-year intensive I took in mediation from Gary Friedman.) For those of you not acquainted with psychosynthesis, I highly recommend the book What We May Be; or books by Roberto Assagioli, founder of psychosynthesis: The Act of Will and Psychosynthesis. (For other books on psychosynthesis, see below; click for past posts related to psychosynthesis here, here, and here.)
One of the exercises learned from Harry which I will describe in a minute may seem simple, silly, and maybe not worth your time. That was my first reaction until I participated; our group spent a half day digging into this process! You don't need to spend hours, but I think you might benefit with even a few minutes. Since learning it in the '80s, I have used the cartoon process a number of times over the years, both myself and in workshops.
As explained below, this process (and the whole of psychosynthesis) can help conflict professionals to feel at ease with ambiguity and contradictory points of view. (That is, of course, one of the main reasons we took 10 days of psychosynthesis in our mediation intensive.)
Below is the process as I recall it from memory and my notes, and is probably just a bit different from how Harry presented it.
Here are each of the steps of the Cartoon Counsel process—my name, I can't recall what Harry called this exercise. (As you will see, it could also be spelled Cartoon Council.)
In preparation, for a week or more, collect cartoons that you find especially funny. Choose one of