Facilitation Articles

Facilitation Articles

The Good and Bad of Conflict (8/22/14)
Ken Johnson
As conflict professionals, we should strive to understand the subject of conflict in all its various forms. However, the large majority of the industry only desires to resolve conflict. Indeed, conflict can be beneficial (anabolic) or destructive (catabolic). Knowing the difference can give businesses and other organizations a catalystic edge to take them to the next level.

La Mediacion en Costa Rica y el Papel del Mediador (8/15/14)
Rolando Perez
La mediación es un método de Resolución Alterna de Conflictos (RAC) de naturaleza auto-compositiva que busca solucionar las diferencias a través del dialogo. En ese sentido, es un método en el cual un tercero imparcial, llamado mediador, interviene en un conflicto entre dos o más personas a solicitud y con la anuencia de las mismas, con el fin de ayudarles en la búsqueda de soluciones pacíficas, cooperativas y mutuamente satisfactorias.

Shooting Yourself in the Foot (8/08/14)
Don Cripe
One of the earliest “learned professions” in the Western world is the law.  A reading of ancient history from the earliest beginnings of Western civilization will reveal allusions to lawyers.  Popes, kings and feudal governments in medieval Europe relied heavily upon lawyers to guide them.  Yet, from early days and primarily because of the educational and status advantages lawyers held over most of society, the profession has suffered from poor public opinion and criticism; literature and in popular culture with the onset of the “lawyer joke.”

On What Level Are We Mediating? (8/08/14)
Oran Kaufman
How do you define success in mediation? The answer depends in part on who is asking the question? Success for the parties may be different than success for the mediator or success for the court. This article explores the question of how to define success in mediation from a variety of angles including what does success mean for the mediation profession?

Compensation for a Dismissed Arbitrator? (8/08/14)
Gunther Horvath
The Austrian Supreme Court (OGH) confirmed that an arbitrator who is dismissed during the arbitration by a state court because of conflict of interest before the award is rendered may recover compensation for (useful) services rendered until dismissal.

Remembering to See the Wood for the Trees – A Mediator’s Reality Check (8/08/14)
Sabine Walsh
“When you look into the abyss, the abyss looks into you.” (Nietzsche) Relationship breakdown and the resulting fall-out is an abyss most people do not like to look into, even as they tumble into it. As family mediators, our job is to accompany and support people’s navigation into, through and, hopefully, out of the abyss again.

Time Lord Mediators (8/08/14)
Clare Fowler
As a culture, we really like there to be a bad guy, a reason why things went south, a scapegoat, someone who started it, leaving us feeling pretty clear and blameless and dang good about ourselves. But what if . . . shudder to even say it . . . we are all a little good and even (deep breath) a little bad?

Beware of Ultimatums When Negotiating (8/01/14)
John Sturrock
Good negotiation involves lots of client moves, client satisfaction, flexible negotiators, . . . and few ultimatums. Remember these tips in order to get the best agreement for your client.

Do Your Surrounding Systems Support Your Inner Self? (8/01/14)
Ralph Kilmann
Are your surrounding systems separate from your inner self? I would like to address the observation that we typically define our sense of self as being separate from our surrounding systems. So I ponder: What are the consequences of keeping our sense of self (some integration of ego, soul, and self-worth) separate from our surrounding systems?

From Practice to Research: When Peacebuilding Fails: The Limits of the Liberal Peace (8/01/14)
Kyong Mazzaro
Since the ratification of the United Nations Charter in 1945 and the deployment of numerous peacekeeping missions, one could conclude that peacebuilding is a difficult concept to grasp. It involves many actors and activities, including the demobilization of troops and the provision of humanitarian assistance, at different levels, from the community to the region. However, there seems to be a common thread in how the UN conceptualizes and implements peacebuilding around the world: an emphasis on the importance of economic liberalization and democratization to achieve peace.

What the Supreme Court of India Got Right and What it Got Wrong (8/01/14)
Niyata Samir Ghandi
The Kluwer Arbitration Blog published an outsider’s perspective on the decision of the Supreme Court of India which has been applauded by international practitioners around the world since it curbed the jurisdiction of Indian courts over an arbitration agreement supplementing the pro-arbitration jurisprudence coming from the SCI over the last two years. The writer has commented not only as an outsider but also and more particularly as a Civil Lawyer, proposing an excellent alterative to the court’s approach. However, it may be necessary to have an insider’s perspective on the judgment.

Vengeance Shall Never Be Yours! (8/01/14)
Phyllis Pollack
In a recent post, I discussed that the best way to calm someone down is to address the emotion and not the words. I learned this in a training session with Douglas E. Noll. However, I did not explain the theory behind this strategy.

Using Diplomacy in Negotiation (8/01/14)
Jan Frankel Schau
n my humble opinion, neither missiles nor trials are effective at getting the message across to an unwilling, unreceptive party. Instead, we should choose our negotiating partners wisely by picking the person whom we most trust to carry the message of our people or our cause with the most respect, tact, and reserve, but forcefully and convincingly.

Which System Is In Control? (7/26/14)
Phyllis Pollack
In his bestselling book, Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2011) notes that our brains contain two systems of thought: System 1 which "... operates automatically and quickly, with little or no effort and no sense of voluntary control" (Id. at 20) and System 2 which "...allocates attention to the effortful mental activities that demand it, including complex computations...." (Id. at 21.)

Prisoners (Spoilers!) (7/26/14)
Joe Markowitz
In the first episode of the second season of Orange is the New Black, the series presents a variation on the prisoner's dilemma problem that is often discussed in mediation programs and texts.

Facebook’s Templates for Conflict Resolution and Court ADR (7/26/14)
Mary Novak
Facebook recently announced its creation of a self-guided dispute resolution system for users. The company has designed a new user-to-user conflict resolution system that could have implications for court ADR systems as well. As in the courts, Facebook must process a large number of conflicts. While the company manages reports of issues such as threats and graphic violence, they wanted to provide users with tools to handle insults and embarrassing photos on their own. The company worked with a team from Yale to research users’ needs and design a large-scale conflict resolution system.

Start Spreading the News: Mandatory Mediation Comes to New York (7/26/14)
Lorraine Brennan
As someone who started her legal career as a litigator, I, like many other litigators, viewed mandatory mediation with both skepticism and some suspicion. When my client was sent to court-ordered mediation by a judge in the SDNY in the 1990s, I assumed that my adversary and I would merely tick the “attendance” box and return to the judge to let him know that mediation had failed to resolve our complex dispute.

Transformative Mediation, Slovenia, and the Wright Brothers (7/26/14)
Dan Simon
Many times throughout the Transformative Mediation Congress, I saw mediators explore various aspects of the transformative approach– how it looks in practice, what it means to be non-directive, how to talk to clients as a transformative mediator. We grappled with what this work means to us and to our clients. We discussed ways to help people understand this different approach to conflict resolution. The participants were willing to embrace the challenges of applying the Transformative Approach to their practice and wrestle with them.

Stepping into Someone's Shoes (7/26/14)
Cinnie Noble
The phrase stepping into someone’s shoes – the subject of this week’s blog – is commonly used to describe a way to envision the situation from the other person’s perspective. As one source said, “only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches”.

Understanding Each Party’s Power in Family Mediation-Arbitration: Why it is Critical (7/25/14)
Hilary Linton
A recent Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision illustrates the need for clearer guidelines for “screening for power imbalances and domestic violence”, a mandatory component of Ontario family arbitration. It also demonstrates the benefits for parties, lawyers and arbitrators in understanding that some methods of screening are more effective than others; and in ensuring that screening is done in accordance with the best practices before the mediation in a mediation-arbitration.

FINRA Appoints New Arbitration Task Force (7/18/14)
Jill Gross
FINRA announced today the formation of a new Arbitration Task Force “to consider possible enhancements to its arbitration forum to improve the transparency, impartiality and efficiency of FINRA’s securities arbitration forum for all participants.”

Case Study: The Mediating Manager (7/18/14)
Katherine Graham
Sian is the Communications Manager for a UK charity and has recently appointed James, a designer whose job required frequent contact with production officer Helga, who had worked with Sian for over 3 years. Sian had a sinking feeling that things were not going too well between James and Helga, but Sian was busy and, optimistically, had put the tensions down to early teething troubles and hoped she could leave them to sort out their differences ‘as adults’.

EBay y Sotheby’s se asocian para transmitir subastas de arte por Internet (7/18/14)
Alberto Elisavetsky
La compañía de comercio electrónico eBay y la casa de subastas Sotheby’s para transmitir en directo Internet algunas de las subastas que tengan lugar en la central de la casa de subastas en Nueva York. Se hará a través de una nueva plataforma que la empresa australiana de comercio electrónico añadirá en su página web, y se planea que el siguiente paso sea que los internautas puedan pujar desde cualquier parte del mundo. Las dos empresas tienen previsto centrar esta apuesta digital en segmentos como la joyería, los relojes, los grabados, la fotografía, el vino y el diseño del siglo XX.

Minimizing the Litigation Risk in Mediation (7/07/14)
Benjamin Seigel
Litigation is risky, uncertain and expensive. Mediation works when the factors discussed are put into play and when they are not, mediation may not have been the proper path to follow.

Jumping From the Frying Pan into the Fire (7/07/14)
Cinnie Noble
It happens in conflict that things frequently escalate in a way that results in the other person or us making things worse. The expression “jumping from the frying pan into the fire” applies here as an idiom that generally means escaping a bad situation for a worse situation. According to one source, “it was made the subject of a 15th-century fable that eventually entered the Aesopic canon”. Here is the story in brief.

Me, Myself, and I (7/07/14)
Vivian Scott
Who hasn’t seen the poster on a break room wall or heard the rally cry at a company meeting that shouts, “There’s no I in team!”? Yep, the quote is everywhere and even though I understand the intention behind it, I say pshaw to that notion!

The Hopeless Case (6/30/14)
Michael P. Carbone
This article discusses the reason why many clients are adverse to mediation: "This is a hopeless case; we are too far apart." The common refrains about being too far apart explain why mediation is needed. If the two sides were close, they would probably settle the case on their own. The reason why they need a mediator is that they are polarized.

Resolving Conflict and Building Peace in Social Networks: An Impossible Task? (6/30/14)
Peter T. Coleman
Given the often overwhelming complexity of many social networks involved in well-intentioned initiatives – reducing urban violence, peacemaking in communities, peacebuilding in nations – one wonders how and if anything ever gets accomplished.

Values and Interests Revealed in Detroit “Grand Bargain” (6/30/14)
Mary Novak
The story of the Detroit bankruptcy mediation’s emerging “Grand Bargain” (as it has been dubbed in the media) is a fascinating case of many different groups working to protect their chosen interests. The bargain demonstrates how mediation allows parties to consider what they are willing to give in order to secure the things that matter most to them, and how traditional rivals may collaborate for a shared goal.

Mediators and the World Cup (6/30/14)
Andrea Maia
As it happens every four years, it is the FIFA World Cup again. I must confess that I am not a football enthusiast myself, but with the greatest football stars at my doorstep, and all the media hype, it is almost impossible for any Brazilian not to get involved at some level. But it is not all rosy, as street protests and some other initial reactions by the Brazilian population against the event throughout the last 12 months have negatively impacted the tournament image.

Multi-tasking (6/30/14)
Joe Markowitz
Some interesting back-and-forth occurred during the last panel of the day yesterday at the 2014 ODR conference, when David Bilinsky, a legal practice consultant, described the high tech tools he uses in teaching law students. To oversimplify his presentation, these tools allow students to conduct side discussions during lectures in a chat feature that can be employed either during an online or even an in-person class. The theory is that these side chats can expand on the lecture, and reinforce learning by facilitating more interactive participation.

Does Mediation Make Us Better? (6/20/14)
Heather Pincock
The prevailing measures of success of mediation have largely examined settlement rates. I examine this among many other things in an empirical study that asks: Does Mediation Make Us Better? This article contains a video that summarizes the study, and a link to the entire article.

How to Encourage Perspective-Taking (6/13/14)
Caryn Cridland
When people get angry or upset, they have the tendency to forget to look at other possible circumstances or view points of the situation. They look at just the behaviour and not the possible intentions or causes of the behaviour. It is the mediator’s role to help the parties to see other view points. The article explores examples of situations where perspective-taking can be beneficial. It also explores strategies that encourage perspective-taking. These include telling stories where the participants have been pushed to a point, examining their own behaviour and looking at common values or goals.

Post-Divorce Blues: Unresolved Issues and New Problems Unsettle Divorced Spouses (6/13/14)
Dr. Lynne C. Halem
Months, even years, of haggling and anxiety were finally at an end. A new beginning was in the offering. Yet the initial relief, may be filled with sadness, and may well be short-lived. Divorced couples are often faced with agreements that do little to help them navigate an evolving, and even rocky, future. Mediation provides an agreement which is clear and specific as to beginning points and ends, as to the details of property, support, and the children, including education, death, and taxes, provides insurance for protecting couples from the surprises of tomorrow. agreement which is clear and specific as to beginning points and ends, as to the details of property, support, and the children, including education, death, and taxes, provides insurance for protecting couples from the surprises of tomorrow.

Winks, Nods, and Corporate Culture (6/13/14)
Maria Simpson
Have you ever walked out of a meeting with an agenda for future action that you knew no one would follow though on? Apparently they did just that at GM.

Anger Management (6/13/14)
Phyllis Pollack
Let us suppose that you are at a mediation or in some sort of negotiation and the other party has just said something that has gotten you so angry, you are ready to grab your belongings and storm out of the mediation/negotiation.

"Conflict - The Unexpected Gift" Book Review (6/06/14)
Jack Hamilton, Elisabeth Seaman
Conflict is a common aspect of life that is extremely difficult to avoid because each person is different from others and arrives at his or her own conclusions about the behavior of others and the events in a situation. Although conflicts may seem unavoidable, one can actually learn how to work through them and come out with a better relationship in the end. The book “Conflict—The Unexpected Gift: Making the Most of Disputes in Life and Work” presents a highly detailed and comprehensive approach to resolving interpersonal conflicts.

El Arte de la Negociación - en Espanol (6/06/14)
Julian Ernesto Sccasso Losa
La aplicabilidad de la negociación en la formación militar permitirá preparar al hombre de armas en los distintos mecanismos y habilidades para lograr resultados exitosos antes de llegar al conflicto. En ese sentido estoy haciendo esfuerzos para concientizar sobre la necesidad de formar al personal militar en el conocimiento y dominio de esta disciplina. Entre las actividades que he realizado al respecto está la publicación de algunos artículos en revistas especializadas (militares) que hacen referencia a la aplicación del los MARC en la actividad castrense.

Time Is Against Us and There Are Miles Between Us (6/06/14)
Geoff Sharp
Many mediations are 80/20 – that is, 80% of the day spent in dialogue and debate with not much sign of movement and, as evening gathers, 20% frenetic activity.

Book Review: Short and Happy Guide to Mediation (6/03/14)
Don Philbin
Will Pryor's "Short and Happy Guide to Mediation" is both. You can read it in a sitting, and probably will. But it covers the waterfront too. Pryor teaches the latest negotiation theory, but the focus is decidedly on applying it in practice. The book not only helps neutrals, it helps parties and their advocates better utilize the process to maximize results.

Is There A Bad Faith Exception to Mediation Confidentiality? (6/03/14)
Phyllis Pollack
This articles analyzes an order of a federal court providing that mediation confidentiality would not apply to prevent an insurance company from using statements made during mediation to defend itself against claims of insurance bad faith.

Sunshine in Litigation Act Reintroduced (6/03/14)
Michael Moffitt
From a recent National Law Journal: Federal lawmakers have renewed legislation that would require judges to consider the public’s interest before agreeing to seal court records about products liability lawsuits with companies.

Pain in the Neck (6/03/14)
Cinnie Noble
When we are in conflict with another person or the dynamics between us seem to be leaning towards one developing, some of us have a tendency to begin to find fault with the other person. We may attribute negative motives to her or him. We may stay away from this person or show the emotions we are experiencing in various ways.

Quick Tip: Hostage Negotiator's Tone of Voice (6/03/14)
Jeff Thompson
Crisis and hostage negotiator's are involved in situations that are tense, stressful, and anxiety-filled. In order to try to reduce the overwhelming emotions being experienced by the person they are trying to help, the negotiator's tone of voice is an important tool that can help move the conversation toward a peaceful resolution.

Confidentiality and Due Process (6/03/14)
Joe Markowitz
Can mediation confidentiality threaten a party's right to due process? A recent case out of the Central District of California, Milhouse v. Travelers, currently on appeal to the Ninth Circuit, held that the due process rights of a party can override the parties' agreement, and a state evidentiary rule precluding the admission in any subsequent proceedings of statements made in mediation.

The Mediator, The Artist (5/23/14)
Caryn Cridland
Mediators can be compared to artists - they begin with a blank canvas with parties too angry to see the possibilities. They help people in conflict see the bigger picture. With each step of the process, a new view or perspective, a new colour, a new brush stroke or insight appears. At first it is only the mediator who can see the newly-formed, unique picture that has appeared through these new insights until through using their skills, those involved in the conflict begin to see the full picture too and move towards resolution.

When an Apology Sets the Tone of a Dispute in Mediation (5/23/14)
Jacques Joubert
For commercial mediators it is obvious that commercial interests such as the need to make a profit are the most important incentives for the parties to settle, in the context of course of their legal rights. But in practice and in theory, attention to psychological or personal interests (e.g. reputation, autonomy, status or acknowledgement) is often key to resolve commercial disputes.

Is There A Bad Faith Exception To Mediation Confidentiality? (5/23/14)
Phyllis Pollack
Recently, I received an e mail alerting me to an order of a federal court providing that mediation confidentiality would not apply to prevent an insurance company from using statements made during mediation to defend itself against claims of insurance bad faith.

Silent Treatment (5/23/14)
Cinnie Noble
One of the ways that some people manage conflict is by using the ‘silent treatment’. This expression refers to “Maintenance of aloof silence toward another as an expression of one’s anger or disapproval”. The same source says this phrase is “a deliberate discourteous act”.

Dispute Resolution Options (5/23/14)
Michael A. Zeytoonian
Most people think that when they get into a legal dispute, they have to file a lawsuit. They retain a lawyer, often a litigator, and start an expensive, time-consuming process called litigation. “I’ll sue.” “I’ll take you to court.” It’s what we are taught and reared on, what we see in movies and on TV and what people talk about here in America, the world’s most litigious society. - See more at: http://www.disputeresolutioncounsel.com/2014/05/dispute-resolution-options/#sthash.IQ6GFRXc.dpuf

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