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Don’t Take the Bait to Escalate

Conflict is Inevitable. Being a Jerk is Optional.

Conflict can–and should be–good news.

Conflict can be an opportunity for positive change including deeper friendships, higher profits, stronger marriages, improved systems and products, fairer social justice, and more harmonious family gatherings.

Rooted in Scripture and exploring 21 cases studies, this unusual book delves into the impact conflict has on relationships with family members, colleagues, bosses, clients, suppliers, friends, neighbors, and social media followers.

Don’t Take the Bait to Escalate will show you:

  • Four Factors you must not overlook
  • Three mistakes you must not make
  • Fourteen conflict resolution skills you can quickly master
  • Thirteen easy-to-use tricks and tactics to resolve, win, or prevent conflict

Instead of twisting your stomach into knots or making you want to run away, this book offers you an authoritative game plan for de-escalating conflict. Suddenly, conflicts become opportunities you will enter with faith, confidence—and perhaps even a touch of eagerness. Loving your enemy starts here.


Praise for Don’t Take the Bait to Escalate

  • “Conflict is difficult and most of us avoid it. But what if conflict could become life-giving and good? This book offers very practical help that can help you thrive through difficult relationships and conversations.”

    - Christopher D. Hudson, Author of 100 Names of God
  • “It’s not hyperbole to say that Don’t Take the Bait to Escalate is a gift to the planet. It’s a masterclass in how to approach conflict with empathy, grace, kindness…and ultimately, wisdom. Wow!”

    - Bryan Mattimore, Author of 21 Days to a Big Idea
  • "In a social media age where conflict isolates and divides, Jay Payleitner brings a necessary, practical book to help us learn to see conflict as an opportunity to get closer instead of farther away. Highly recommended!"

    - Britt Mooney, Church-planting pastor and author of SAY YES: How God-Sized Dreams Take Flight.
  • “Our divided society has forgotten that it’s okay to agree to disagree. Jay’s book is full of optimism and excellent practices we can and should (or must) all start applying to our day-to-day encounters. Thank you Jay, for this timely advice written in plain language. Your book makes this world a better place.”

    - Mariana Ferrari, Named Top 200 most creative minds in the world, Advisor to Fortune 500 CEOs, and President of DOOIT
  • “I love the old joke, ‘I'm great at conflict, just ask any of my former friends.’ As someone who chooses the jerk option far too often, I appreciate the simple way Jay shares his wisdom and the Biblical foundations he applies to approaching conflicts of every stripe. Don't skim this book, allow the patterns and principles to shift your approach. Your former friends will thank you.”

    - Matt Guevara, Founder, Venn Digital Marketing
  • “Jay Payleitner did it again. This time he took the bait to de-escalate and wrote a beatitudinal book on conflict resolution. It’s a timely must-read, packed with timeless wisdom, embellished by the unique Payleitner wit that actually makes it fun to resolve and even prevent conflict!”

    - Maurits van Sambeek, MA., Metaphysician, the Netherlands
  • “None of us can get through life without conflict – sometimes we can’t even get through a day or a week without it. With his trademark humor and wit, Jay Payleitner provides an abundance of wisdom, helpful examples, timely tips, and wily tricks to successfully handle conflict in our lives.”

    - Julie Bryant, Senior Writer, Masterworks, Poulsbo, Washington
  • “Don’t Take the Bait to Escalate is sorely needed in our anger-centric culture! It’s chock-full of practical tips and fun anecdotes. Buy one for you and one for that irritating relative!”

    - Kent Evans, Executive Director, Manhood Journey, and author of Wise Guys and The Manhood Journey
  • “Powerful and timely! These truths are needed in the school house, White House and at your house! Payleitner offers a better way to negotiate and deal with conflict that can change every relationship for the better—it can make our country better too. Please read, apply and share this book!”

    - David Horsager, Bestselling author of The Trust Edge and the leading global expert in building high-trust leaders and organizations.
  • “I’ve been a jerk. Maybe you have been too. And it’s likely that we’ve all been on the “receiving end”—the result of someone else being a jerk in a conflict situation. Payleitner delivers a treasure trove of scenarios, illustrations, biblical insight, strategies, and applications (generally, a SOP manual) for successfully navigating through conflict.”

    - Steve Hefta, Strategic Account Manager, Marketplace Chaplains
  • “Reading a Jay Payleitner book is like having a conversation with a good friend. Jay can take something serious like conflict resolution, ground it in the Bible and then add humor and plain English to make it palatable and easy to grasp.”

    - Bernard J. Forster, Hearing Officer, Education Management Consulting
  • “Conflict is inevitable on this side of heaven. But we can find joy in our friendships and experience peace with the people around us. Jay Payleitner's book reveals what God has to say about resolving conflict biblically.”

    - Scott LaPierre, Pastor, author, and speaker
  • “Don’t Take the Bait to Escalate provides strategies to avoid taking a conflict from smoldering coals to full-scale dumpster fire. Payleitner not only offers important tactics to use (and, just as importantly, to avoid), but his wonderful anecdotes breathe life into each approach. With such a variety of tools in my conflict toolbox, I can win every conflict I engage in – and my adversary will, too, by ensuring the conflict bears fruit for all.”

    - Brad Barbera, Innovation Strategist and author of Keep Innovation Simple – Lead with Clarity and Focus in a World of Constant Change
  • “Taking a bold and honest, yet truthful and compassionate approach, Jay Payleitner dives head first into the delicate topic of conflict. This book will equip you for any difficult conversations or negotiation and is a ‘must read’ for all.”

    - Matt Haviland, Men's Center Director, Grand Rapids, MI
  • “Jay Payleitner’s Don’t Take the Bait to Escalate is a well written, superb, easy to read book that clearly lays out how to manage conflict and stressful situations. With case examples that strikingly illustrate his points, and a step-by-step approach for assessing and managing relational issues. It is a must read for anyone who wants to better solve conflicts and it should become a go-to manual for therapists and psychologists.”

    - Leroy R. Hall, MA, Psy.D, Licensed Clinical Psychologist; Clinical Neuropsychologist
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