Facilitation Articles

Facilitation Articles




Seeing the World Through Others’ Eyes (7/30/15)
John Lande
In our conversations, I have talked about the value of trying to see the world through others’ eyes. There are several reasons why I have found it valuable including moral, practical, and even mental health reasons – it helps me maintain whatever sanity I have left.


Make the Most of Your Mediation: The Single-Family Construction Defect Case (7/30/15)
Lynn Duryee
How can you economically and effectively settle the single-family construction defect case? In a recent mediation involving a homeowner, contractor and 15 subs, the participants used the following practices, which resulted in 16 signed settlements at the end of one day.


Just to be clear: Family Court Doesn’t Resolve Conflict (7/30/15)
Gary Direnfeld
Parents turn to the court thinking a Judge will settle matters and life will be peaceful thereafter. This is far from the truth.


Legal Informed Consent Includes Knowing Your Legal Process Options (7/30/15)
Michael A. Zeytoonian
"An educated consumer is our best consumer." That was the memorable tagline for Syms, a successful men’s clothing retail store in the New York area years ago. It struck a chord for many reasons. A business that wants its customers to be educated on its products or services reflects honesty, transparency and a shared desire for quality and value. It respects and compliments the customers. It implies that the business wants its customers to be intelligent, do their homework, research and due diligence before coming into the store or office and doing business together.


Litigation vs. Mediation - “Child’s Play” for Understanding Your Options (7/30/15)
Jennifer Winestone
This article applies the litigation and mediation processes to a common parenting scenario in order to illustrate the differences between the processes and the advantages of resolving family conflict through mediation.


The UNCITRAL Convention on Enforceability of Settlement Agreements Resulting from International Commercial Mediation (7/30/15)
Gracious Timothy
In February 2015, the U. N. Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Working Group II (Arbitration and Conciliation) met in New York to consider the case for a Convention on the recognition and enforcement of international settlement agreements achieved through mediation. The task was to report on feasibility and the possible form of work in that area. The Working Group did receive several comments from states on the need; the status of settlements; possible exceptions; and the technical feasibility of this new convention. This article collectively summarises the questions underlying possible harmonized solutions.


The Long Path to Immediate Forgiveness (7/21/15)
Lorraine Segal
I had a short lived fight with my wife, Linda, recently that I actually feel good about, because it shows the positive results of my ( and her) long hard work on forgiveness.


Styles of Mediation: Facilitative, Evaluative, and Transformative Mediation (7/14/15)
Zena Zumeta
Mediators around the country find themselves uncomfortable with what is being called mediation in their own and other areas. Accusations are made that one or another approach to mediation is not “real” mediation or are not what clients wanted. In addition, many clients and attorneys are confused about what mediation is and is not, and are not sure what they will get if they go to mediation.


In An Interdependent World There Is No Them And Us, Only Us (6/29/15)
John Sturrock
The old certainties are gone. The disruption caused by the General Election result will inevitably cause instability - and opportunity. Now is the time for new thinking, a break from the old paradigms. You don't solve your problems by using the same thinking that got you into them, as Einstein would say.


“Justice” Report for England and Wales: A Missed Opportunity for Radical Change (6/29/15)
Charlie Irvine
"Justice," a UK think-tank committed to legal reform, launched a new report in April 2015 entitled "Delivering Justice in an Age of Austerity". It proposes significant changes to the justice system of England and Wales, including a new character, the "Registrar", who would have powers to mediate, provide early neutral evaluation, dismiss cases or refer them to a judge. The article provides a detailed critique of the proposals, concluding that despite great merit, they extend the "shadow of the law" by making early neutral evaluation the default. A more radical and empowering change would have been to make mediation the default, with ENE and adjudication the remedial alternatives.


Making Better Use of Mediation to Resolve Disputes and Manage Difficult Issues (6/19/15)
John Sturrock
Mediation encourages parties who have – or who anticipate having – differences, conflict or a dispute to sit down and talk, with a view to finding a mutually acceptable way forward. It is usually most appropriate when, for a number of reasons, people are unable to negotiate effectively for themselves or have reached some sort of impasse or deadlock. It recognises that direct negotiations can be difficult in many situations. It can also be effective to prevent awkward situations escalating.


The Surprising Way to Ask Better Questions in Conflict (6/19/15)
Tammy Lenski
When we’re stuck in conflict, sometimes it’s the questions we’re asking ourselves or our sparring partner. To ask better questions in conflict, try this surprisingly useful trick…


Researchers Identify Useful Negotiation Strategies for 'Honor Cultures' (6/19/15)
Jeff Thompson
The following research study could be of interest to crisis negotiators as it involves the concept of different cultures- especially those in which "honor" has a significant role.


Consolidation and Conflict in the Health Care Industry (6/19/15)
Viggo Boserup
The health care industry has experienced a significant increase in consolidations among providers of facilities and services alike. From drugs to devices to service providers, 2014 saw the largest consolidation within the health care industry in the past 20 years. - See more at: http://jamsadrblog.com/#sthash.AQhZ4CpV.dpuf


The Cincinnati Police-Community Relations Collaborative as a National Model for Improving Police-Community Relations Today (6/19/15)
Jay Rothman
The US is now facing national crisis and vigorous discussion about the faults of its criminal justice system, particularly around the African American community and its encounter with the police. This is an opportune moment to take stock of lessons learned from The Cincinnati Collaborative, hailed as national model for police-reform and improving partnership and problem solving between police and community.


“Bags of Trouble” (6/19/15)
Jai Jayaraman
I started getting interested in conflict resolution back in the late 90s. At the time I was a business analyst working on retail supply chain issues.


Planning is Critically Important for Early Dispute Resolution (6/12/15)
John Lande
Early mediation is a waste of time. This was a refrain I heard several months ago at a meeting of lawyers representing large corporations.


So You Think You Don’t Need Dispute Resolution in Your Organisation? (6/12/15)
Katherine Graham
Over the next 6 weeks we will be following Carol, Mike and their colleagues, as they experience the difficulties that arise when we don’t have the skills to handle conflict at work. It all ends in an unnecessary grievance; so how did something that started out as a small problem get to that outcome?


Why We Have Different Experiences (6/12/15)
Jason Dykstra
How often does this happen to us? We experience the same action as another person and walk away from the action with a totally different perspective that happened. It happens at staff meetings, conversations with our bosses or employees, and even with our partners and kids.


Compliance Success with Mediated Settlements in Small Claims (6/11/15)
Mattie Robertson
A report on the success of mediated settlement agreements by SEEDS Community Resolution Center's mediation team in Small Claims Court in Alameda County. High compliance with settlements has provided litigant parties with a reliable and effective way to resolve their cases using interest-based negotiation within a community mediation model.


Overcoming Reluctance to Engage in Mediation (6/11/15)
Laura Athens
Many attorneys know and appreciate the benefits of mediation.  Those who are familiar with the benefits of mediation readily propose and eagerly participate in it.  However, should you encounter any resistance, how can it be addressed?


Seeking “Justice” (6/06/15)
Phyllis Pollack
Plaintiffs file lawsuits seeking “justice”. Defendants respond, stating they are seeking “justice” as well. Both come to mediation, seeking “justice”. When I am told this, that each side wants “justice”, I am not sure how to respond because I do not know exactly what that word means.


The 2016 Global Pound Conference Series (6/06/15)
Jeff Thompson
In April 1976, an event now known as the Pound Conference ignited modern ADR in the USA, launching discussion of what might be the “greatest reform in the history of the country’s judicial system “.[1] Forty years later, all stakeholders in the dispute prevention and resolution fields around the world are being invited to participate in a series of unique thought leadership events around the globe under the auspices of a Global Pound Conference (“GPC”) series.


The Little Things in Our Relationship Won’t Ruin Us (6/06/15)
Vivian Scott
A few months ago Yahoo Style published an item by Sloane Bradshaw that talked about how letting the little things go in her relationship ended her marriage. The headline caught my eye and, as I began to read, I expected to recognize small warning signs in my own relationship.


Intent…Action….Effect! (6/06/15)
Jason Dykstra
This is a repost of a blog from a few years ago that was recently brought to my attention. I received a message from a reader that asked if I could point them to the follow-up posts that I alluded to in this post. As I searched for the follow-ups I realized that I didn’t actually write any! So…in the coming weeks (this time) I’ll be posting more about this communication model and it’s awesomeness.


Dissolution- Don’t let the Resolve Dissolve (6/06/15)
Belinda Jokinen
I was helping this couple, Jane and John of course, sort out the details of their divorce. The item that was the most difficult to “separate” was the china cabinet. They had invested time, and money, and both had an attachment to it. We were on our 3rd session and they had been able to remain in the same room every time. When we discussed the cabinet they got real snippy so it was time to visit with them separately.


Presenting Your Presentation: A Few Words (6/05/15)
Richard Barbieri
The passing of William Zinsser leads me to offer some suggestions on writing well in a specific context: applying to present at a professional conference, or seeking to attract participants to a workshop, based on over forty years of both writing and reviewing proposals.


Musings of a Long Time Arbitrator (6/05/15)
Brian Jerome
Musings of a Long Time Arbitrator reflects on the positive and challenging aspects of serving as a neutral, in a manner both realistic and humorous. Similar practitioners will be able to immediately relate, and those that seek or utilize the services of ADR providers will get a direct look at the implications of a neutral’s daily reality.


Let’s Talk: Charlie Hebdo, Immigration, Terror and Prejudice -- Notes Toward a Proposal for Dialogue over Difficult and Dangerous Issues (6/02/15)
Kenneth Cloke
As wars, religious and political differences, and international problems such as global warming, environmental degradation and poverty expand their reach, importance and severity, stimulating mass migrations and deepening social tensions, we are increasingly forced to recognize that military solutions cannot succeed; that legal processes take too long to implement; and that diplomacy does not reach deep enough into the ranks of those who are drawn to violence.


Workplace Systemic Issues: Do Your Leaders Really Want to Know? (6/01/15)
Patricia Porter
Like many conflict resolution or ADR professionals who start as a mediator, it doesn’t take long before a mediator doing workplace cases in one organization begins to wonder about the organization’s culture, communication, or leadership skills. “If only the organization had better practices, the mediation (or coaching or training or group facilitation) wouldn’t be needed”, many have thought.


Bearing Witness to Suffering: Mediating in the Shadow of Pain (6/01/15)
Tammy Lenski
Philosopher Simone Weil wrote, "Those who are unhappy have no need for anything in this world but people capable of giving them their attention. The capacity to give one's attention to a sufferer is a very rare and difficult thing; it is almost a miracle; it is a miracle.


Competition to Cooperation (6/01/15)
Phyllis Pollack
When I started mediating cases, I never thought that I would have to be aware of or learn advanced mathematics. But a book that I recently finished has shown me otherwise.


Juries of Their Peers (6/01/15)
Maria Simpson
When I was in fourth grade, a few millennia ago, our teacher established a system so we could settle a lot of our own disputes. General mischief-maker, Walter, was elected judge, a decision that completely confounded our teacher, and the class was the jury.


Asking Tough Questions About Mandatory Arbitration and Article III (6/01/15)
Art Hinshaw
Our good friend Jean Sternlight (UNLV) sends along her opinions on Sharif, one of last week’s Supreme Court cases and how it impacts the Federal Arbitration Act.


In This Corner: The Antisocial Personality Disorder (It’s all about me!) Hostage-taker (6/01/15)
Lynne Kinnucan
A few years ago, police in New England cornered a young man, who, after a long hot pursuit from an aborted bank robbery in Vermont entered a residence in Massachusetts, and took a deputy sheriff and his children hostage in their home. This individual, who said he had to rob the bank because his parole agent was demanding he repay the car loan that he lost gambling, met his father for the first time when they were in the same state prison. During protracted negotiations, he rationalized his situation and blamed others for his troubles.


Would Mediation Help Resolve the Dispute Between Taranaki and Tongariro? (6/01/15)
Denise Evans
The article is about what if ?mediation had been an option in Maori legend as a metaphor for disputes between family members.


Recipes for Success (5/22/15)
John Lande
I love the cookbook that Andrea and 1001 chefs wrote, Cooking Up a Deal: Negotiation Recipes for Success. It’s a wonderfully short and fun piece to assign for the last day of class.


Bush and Folger on Reclaiming Mediation’s Future (5/22/15)
Dusty and Vicky Rhoades, Dan Simon
One of the many things that Baruch Bush and Joe Folger have contributed to the mediation community is the stimulus to engage in difficult conversation about how we support participants in conflict. What informs our practice? What does it mean when I say that I’m committed to participant self-determination? Baruch and Joe’s recent article on Reclaiming Mediation’s Future and their challenge to return to “an original vision of the mediation field” has certainly stimulated conversation and strong reaction.


Managing the Cost of Conflict (5/22/15)
Alessandra Sgubini Roxanne De La Roche
Conflict is a common occurrence in society. It arises everywhere, among different types of parties, in different parts of the world, and for different reasons. If conflict is not addressed properly it can escalate and degenerate leaving serious consequences in its wake. This article explores the true costs of conflict, methods to address conflict, and how to prevent conflicts from escalating in the first place.


Evaluating a Consensus Building Effort (5/22/15)
Larry Susskind
I worry a lot about how to evaluate the success or failure of consensus building efforts in which I get involved. When I try to convince someone in a position of responsibility to commit to consensus building, I need to tell them how they'll be able to gauge the results.


Control Your Emotions Better by Labeling Them (5/22/15)
Tammy Lenski
If you want to control your emotions better during difficult conversations, do something counter-intuitive: Give up trying not to feel them. Instead, put a label on them. Recognizing and naming an emotion can have a powerful effect on quelling it. Psych professor Matthew Lieberman, author of Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect, calls it “affect labeling.” You can use affect labeling to help yourself and others.


The Simplest Way to Negotiate (5/22/15)
Phyllis Pollack
I have mediated over 1400 matters. Thus, I have seen parties approach negotiation in a myriad of ways; some appear to be “winging it” while others appear to have some sort of strategy in mind. The common thread appears to be “self-interest” or how can each party get the best deal possible. Yet, pursuing one’s own self-interest at the expense of the other party often leads to poor results for both parties.


Outwitting Cognitive Dissonance (5/22/15)
Meredith Richardson
We like to believe that we are rational beings who make rational decisions. Sometimes, we are. And sometimes, we are not.


Waiving the Right to Arbitrate in the United States: Should the Prejudice Requirement be Discarded? (5/22/15)
Jack Wright Nelson
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ordered a fund management committee (‘SBC’) to arbitrate its dispute with Navistar International (‘Navistar’) – at Navistar’s request – despite the fact that Navistar refused SBC’s own request for arbitration, ignored SBC’s formal notice of arbitration, and then litigated SBC’s claim in court for over a year.


Advocacy in Mediation (5/21/15)
Uma Ramanathan
Advocacy is recommendation of a cause. Advocacy presupposes a difference of opinion or a conflict and the need to clarify the ‘knot’, get to understand the root cause and then acknowledge consequences. Mediation advocacy pre-supposes support by the mediator for resolution and projection of a cause by the counsel/ party.


Unbroken Circles for Schools - Book Review (5/15/15)
Ken Johnson, Barb Caffrey
"Unbroken Circles for Schools" is an excellent nonfiction read about conflict, social justice, and restorative justice. Mr. Johnson's premise is that our criminal justice system is doing juvenile offenders a grave disservice. Rather than sending juvenile offenders into the prison system (where they mostly learn only to re-offend), we need to teach the principles of restorative justice instead -- and where else should these principles be taught but in the schools?


What Is A Humanistic Approach to Mediation? An Overview (5/15/15)
Mark S. Umbreit, Ted Lewis
A humanistic approach to mediation developed in parallel to the transformative approach to mediation in the 1990's. While fully harmonizing with transformative mediation, a humanistic approach brings several additional emphases that can deepen the work of mediators in both dispute resolution and restorative justice work. The 'human-element' is highlighted by giving greater attention to several humanizing capacities in mediation.


Beyond “Being Difficult”! (5/15/15)
Phyllis Pollack
Recently I read an article about two lawyers assaulting each other during a deposition being conducted in the courthouse. Two attorneys were arrested and charged with simple assault on Wednesday after they got into a heated dispute that turned into a fist fight at the Bergen County Courthouse in Hackensack, authorities and witnesses said.


More Online Mediation Needed Before We Can Measure Effectiveness (5/15/15)
Charles Hill
The author suggests that a larger number of cases must be mediated online before determining the effectiveness of any online methodology. The author draws similarities between the advantages and disadvantages often cited for online education and online mediation and contends that what we’ve learned in education can readily carry over to mediation.


Getting to Yes – With Yourself -- Book Review (5/08/15)
William Ury, John Sturrock
“In the morning when I look at myself in the mirror, I like to remind myself that I am seeing the person who is probably going to give me the most trouble that day, the opponent who will be the biggest obstacle to me getting what I truly want.”

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