Mediation Feedback: Who is it For?
This article is the result of switching seats – moving from practitioner to party. Every mediation service I've worked for sends out feedback forms. Sometimes immediately after sessions, sometimes a few weeks later. This experience made me question the importance of mediation evaluation.
How Do You Keep the Parties at the Mediation Hearing Until Settlement?
This week, I presided over two hearings where the parties were in a hurry to leave. In one, the case was settled, but in our collective haste, not one of the parties or their lawyers caught the fact that the short-form settlement agreement expressed an agreement to pay $00.00. This left the Plaintiff’s lawyer concerned enough that the following day he sent an email revoking his client’s acceptance of the offer!
Mediators Beyond Borders Dialogue Team Shares Secrets of Success
Building on the success of an international partnership with the Athens based Hellenic Mediation and Arbitration Centre, members of the Mediators Beyond Borders International dialogue training team will be presenting a strategy for promoting the non-violent resolution of international conflicts.
On Being Understood
Michael P. Carbone
Continuing this month with our review of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Habit No. 5 is to "Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood." Rarely do I see advocates in mediation who have mastered this habit. The duty of zealous advocacy almost always prevails, and lawyers seem to be generally better at speaking than at listening.
The Subtleties of Memory
All disputes are premised on what occurred in the past, with the view of resolving matters by looking forward. We are often told not to "dwell on the past" but to "look forward" in trying to figure out how to best resolve the issues. For some participants, particular older participants, it may not be so easy to quickly look to the future.
What is Mediation?
This rant is for those (few remaining) lawyers who discourage their clients from trying mediation with the lame allegation that mediation is too “touchy-feely.”
It is hard to believe that, in this day and age, some lawyers still have such a patronizing attitude.
I've heard a number of evangelists of the mediation world talk about the seemingly limitless future of the mediation process. That future seems to depend on the public finally becoming more aware of the possibilities of mediation to resolve not only conflicts that have already worked their way through the court system, but also conflicts that have never even made it to court, or that might be unsuitable for court.
Are You Beating Around the Bush?
When we are in conflict, some of us avoid coming to the point about something we think may upset the other person. The idiom beat around (or about) the bush describes the sort of prevarication when we delay or are evasive about raising difficult things. Or, it may be we act this way when we are having challenges answering a hard question.
Is that a Threat?
A body of previous research has established important differences between resource- and value-based conflicts, particularly when it comes to effective resolutions. A new study by Kouzakova and colleagues (2014)1 of Leiden University sheds light on the motivational underpinnings of these discrepancies.
The Best Mediation Secrets
Naturally not all clients are expected to be amenable to mediate their disputes, but if given the choice, they will be fully responsible for getting on the path to the courthouse of the mediation table. The clients will be able to make an empowered decision, and attorneys can rest knowing that their clients had enough information to make the right choice for them. This author shares his views on this from the mediation world in Cape Town.
Throughout time, Intercultural Mediation in China has become the preferred method for Dispute Resolution. It preserves social peace in a country with huge extensions and diverse orography, and with a population of various ethnic origins. We shall compare the subjacent conditions with those in the Argentine Republic and propose some alternatives to implement such method as a Dispute Resolution System.
Why Your Leadership Title Means Zilch
I remember my mother making me write letters to some youth about something that I did when I was a teenager. She said to me, “You’re a leader now, other kids will be looking up to you so you need to set a good example!” I didn’t want to be a leader, I had never asked to be one. It’s not something that I had consciously signed up for. It was the day I was told to become a conscious leader.
If You and Your Lawyer Really Do Want to Negotiate…
Michael A. Zeytoonian
In every dispute a client calls me in to work to resolve, my first inquiry with the other side is to discuss the possibility of early resolution. If we can explore this option even before any litigation has been initiated, it’s even better.
A través de los tiempos, la Mediación Intercultural en China se ha convertido en un método preferido para la Resolución de Disputas, a la par de preservar la paz social en un país de grandes extensiones y disímil orografía, con población de variados orígenes étnicos. Analizamos sus condiciones subyacentes comparadas con las existentes en la República Argentina y proponemos alternativas de implementación de tal método como sistema para la Resolución de Disputas.
Revisiting Neutrality in Mediation
Rachel Fishman Green, Esq.
What is the most basic and primary characteristic of good mediation? Neutrality! Imagine asking your clients, “Why would you come here, to sit in this room and have your spouse and me gang up on you?”
Recently, talking to a very experienced mediator, we started to describe a particular practice of an attorney-mediator during one of his cases. At the end, we asked: was that mediation? Our friend told us that no, it wasn’t mediation. We asked why and a long silence fell over our table. Then he confessed that it cannot tell exactly why, but somehow he felt uncomfortable with the practices we described and certainly he would not attempt to use them during his own cases.
Mediation Skills: Non-Violent Communication and Aikido
What is the relationship between Non-Violent Communication (NVC) and Embodied Compassionate Communication or Emotional Aikido? The answer to this question begins by understanding that NVC is a language skill and does not encompass somatic training.
Financial Consumers Can Only Avoid Arbitration By Using A Credit Union
Disputing would like to invite you to check out Liz Kramer’s recent blog post entitled CFPB’s Preliminary Report: Financial Consumers Can Only Avoid Arbitration By Using A Credit Union. In her post, Ms. Kramer discusses the surprising and expected findings included in the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s 168-page preliminary results regarding consumer financial arbitration.
Sawubona, Temple and In Medias Res – My Three Words for 2014
Another year has come and went out the door. As I sit here, on the beginning of the new year, reflecting on this past year I can’t help but feel lucky to be here! There have been lots of exciting things that have happened this year (both personally and professionally) and lots of scary, painful things as well (like breaking my collarbone and getting into a fairly serious motorcycle accident).
Mediation in Hotels
The relationship between employees of different hierarchies and each of the departments that are part of the organization chart of a hotel such as Food and Beverage, Front office, Housekeeping, etc., results in that although all parts of the structure tend to say that no one in their company takes bad to anyone, if you look a little more closely, you discover behaviors they pit a sector against another by opposing interests.
Elder Divorce Mediation
Dr. Lynne C. Halem
As the remaining baby boomers turn 50 this year, we continue to see a significant increase in divorce and separation among the general population of those in that 50-plus age bracket.
DIFC Arbitration Law
On 15 December 2013, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Authority enacted Law No.6 of 2013 (Arbitration Amendment Law) which amended the DIFC Arbitration Law to make it clear that the DIFC Courts have the power to stay court proceedings in favour of a foreign seated arbitration.
Opening Statements by the Mediator
Arnold W. Zeman
It's important in the mediation process, irrespective of the model, for the mediator to explain how she works in an opening statement. There are two reasons for this: participants have a right to know what to expect from the mediator and how the process will unfold; and, participants have a right to make an informed decision on whether the process will be helpful to them.
AudioBlog: Animal Conflicts and Alternative Dispute Resolution
In this episode, the co-speakers will introduce listeners to the subfield within Alternative Dispute Resolution of animal related conflicts. Debra Hamilton and Gary Norman will tell you the what, where and how to include animal related conflicts in to your practice and how you can use the full range of tools available to alternative dispute resolution practitioners to assist these parties find their own solution to such conflicts.
In 1992, John Gray, Ph.D. published Men Are From Mars, Women are From Venus (HarperCollins Publishing 1992) to explain why men and women have difficulty communicating with each other.
Venting Anger Feeds the Flame
Fredrike P. Bannink
Venting negative emotions is precisely what many therapists, coaches and mediators advise people to do. If followed, such advice will only make people angrier and more aggressive.
Mediator as Truthsayer
Mediation is not one monolithic technique. Mediators and mediation theorists may categorize different types of mediation techniques into different theoretical boxes, such as “facilitative”, “evaluative” and “transformational”. But the categories all seem to bleed into each other.
Online Mediation Helps Mediators Practice and Improve Their Skills
For a variety of reasons, mediators-in-training are finding it is helpful to supplement their existing training with online role-plays. Online Mediation Training participants, or those transitioning to mediation while working or studying full-time, will appreciate the ease and convenience of conducting their mediation role-plays, debriefs, and feedback online.
Positive Supervision and Intervision
Fredrike P. Bannink
Bannink’s latest publication ’Positive supervision and intervision’ is based on the solution focused paradigm for individual and group supervision sessions. Accordingly, learning is about our success stories as well as other practitioners’ success stories and much less about what did not work or went wrong which may be the traditional experience when a problem solving paradigm is used. This articles contains a description of her new book.
Breaking Bad: The Decision To Change Holiday Traditions
Breaking away from family traditions during the holiday season can be difficult. Regardless of the reason or the explanation given to your family, friends or spouse, it rarely goes well. Why is that? The fact is that traditions are traditions for a reason.
Mandela – A Titan Remembered
With the death of Nelson Mandela, without doubt the most significant political leader in my lifetime, lots has been written about his impact not only on South Africa but also on the world. And plenty is still to be written.
Was Your Board Meeting a Disaster?
Everyone who has ever served on a board can relate to this question. Unproductive, one person dominated, a key person was not at the meeting, we never got to the most important part of the agenda, sound familiar? Navigating through important content, diverse personalities and time restraints can prove to be difficult in any circumstance but when consensus, disagreements over interpretation of the goals of the organization and personalities collide it can become a disaster.
Modifying the Underlying Dimensions of the TKI Conflict Model
Since the early 1970s, two dimensions have been used to plot the five conflict modes: Assertiveness and Cooperativeness (my attempts to satisfy my own needs versus my attempts to satisfy the other person's needs, respectively). Occasionally, these two dimensions were modified to Person A and Person B, as just another way of focusing on the needs and concerns of two people engaged in an interpersonal conflict.
The Disappearing Opening Statement
Robert A. Berlin
The disappearing opening statement is a disservice to the parties, by not giving them a heads-up as to what’s about to occur. By going to immediate problem solving without the parties getting the mediation process blueprint may inhibit their full participation. This, in turn, may deny their self-determination: “That to which they give birth, they will support.”
Grief, Anger, and Fear
Family law mediation is laced with raw emotions. Emotional pain, sorrow,
sadness, regret and remorse are encountered in circumstances that call for
courage, calm and control. Family law mediators are called upon to ferret out
motivations, interests and needs in what are often trying circumstances. Such
mediators must be prepared to deal with the four basic emotions of grief, anger
fear, and love.
Perspective-Taking Leads to Enlightenment
Perspective-taking can be summarized by a philosophy drawn from an indigenous culture called Ya-idt-midtung. The Ya-idt-midtung people are from the snowy mountains of Victoria, Australia. According to Ya-idt-midtung Philosophy, expanding our perspective eventually leads to enlightenment through a series of stages. In looking at others' perspective, including those one could be in conflict with, this helps one along the path of enlightenment.
Shifting the Focus from Mediating the Problem to Mediating the Moment
Greg Rooney, Margaret Ross
It is our ability to think that makes us a mediator, lawyer or social scientist not our acquired knowledge of the subject or field. Although knowledge acquisition is an important first step for the novice professional it does not make a practitioner.
Green Spaces and Aggression
Many people have experienced how a walk in the woods on a beautiful Fall day can clear our minds and make us feel good. Whenever I have a problem to solve, I find that a walk on the river trail near my home helps me think more clearly and some of my best ideas seem to arise spontaneously while I am enjoying the colours, scents and sounds of the trail.
Nevada Supreme Court Protects Confidentiality of Foreclosure Records
Last week, the Nevada Supreme Court rejected a non-profit organization’s request to examine records created as part of the state’s Foreclosure Mediation Program. Non-profit group Civil Rights for Seniors reportedly sought the records using the Nevada Public Records Act.
Mediating in Cases in Domestic Violence – Between a Rock and a Hard Place
The question of whether, and how, to mediate with couples who have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence or abuse has challenged and divided mediation professionals for many years now without consensus on how to handle such cases having been reached. Domestic abuse can be a contra-indicator for mediation for a number of reasons, mainly however that it is likely to compromise the equality of bargaining power, the free interaction with and the voluntary participation in mediation.
Contact is Good
Intergroup conflicts are prevalent in our society. In organizations, we often see tension between departments, units, workgroups and teams. Although workgroup relations in organizations should be cooperative and allow for positive intergroup contact, they have been found to provide fertile ground for intergroup conflict. Such conflicts have been shown to negatively affect employee well-being because they contribute to bullying and stress.
An Unfortunate Proposal to Encourage Plea Bargaining Early and Often
The UK Ministry of Justice is proposing to save £220 million (approximately $351 million) by paying lawyers so that they will receive more money if they plead their clients guilty early in their criminal case, rather than waiting longer or going to trial.
Crisis in the Courts: Making a Virtue out of a Necessity
Crisis grips the California court system.
In Los Angeles County, budget cutbacks
have forced the courts to do away
with court reporters, reduce clerical staff,
close 10 courthouses, and assign personal injury
cases to a master trial calendar system.
At a time when ADR might be considered
one of the solutions for relieving
the increased burdens on the civil trial
courts that these changes will impose, the
Superior Court in Los Angeles instead
took the surprising step of closing its
entire court-connected ADR program.
Reflections on Conflict, Respect and the RPM
The Reasonable Person Model describes the environmental conditions under which people are more likely to "be at their best." The model is premised upon three basic and simply articulated - but vitally important - domains which describe human needs and inclinations.
The Importance of Culture in Conflict Resolution
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At a Mediation Week panel discussion in New York, a panel of seasoned ADR professionals, including two JAMS mediators, a doctor of Anthropology, a New York Police detective and an organizational consultant, explored the role culture plays in conflict resolution.