What's Happening in Conflict Resolution [12.16.14]

"What's Happening in Conflict Resolution" is a weekly round up of the all the ADR news, jobs, events and more. Check it out each week and view past versions [HERE].

Dan Simon- Robert A. Baruch Bush and Joseph P. Folger just published a new article called “Reclaiming Mediation’s Future: Getting Over the Intoxication of Expertise, Re-Focusing on Party Self-Determination”. In it they list six actions we can take to save the vision of mediation that places primary value on self-determination:

  1. End once and for all the fiction that evaluative case settlement is mediation. Call it settlement conferencing, or something else similar – but not mediation. Language has consequences, and impacts, and “evaluative mediation” is indeed “an oxymoron” that simply confuses both mediators and clients. Can’t we all agree that this, at least, is not mediation at all, and shouldn’t be simply “accepted” because the train left the station? Call the train back! If we take a united stand on this it will open eyes and minds, get attention, and invite further changes. It will meaningfully and publicly reassert the mediation field’s commitment to self-determination as the core value of our work.
  2. Undertake a fundamental redesign of mediator training. Mediator training is the “gateway”, the enticing place where most mediators are first captured and lured away from a true commitment to self-determination. We need to make major changes in the contents and goals of the required basic training. We should reduce the attention given to reframing, to setting mediator-imposed ground-rules, to techniques for shaping agendas and managing or venting emotions, to probing for underlying needs and interests, to leading parties through a set of phases that are aimed at reaching agreement as the only valuable outcome of the process. Do any of these really support party self-determination?

Read more from Dan's blog [HERE].

Online Dispute Resolution To Be Used By Ohio State Government

SAN JOSE, CALIF. – Modria.com, Inc, provider of the world’s leading online dispute resolution (ODR) platform, today announced that the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) has launched a new online resolution center for tax appeals, powered by Modria Resolution Center.  Taxpayers, agents, and attorneys can now file online, gain instant access to their electronic case files, negotiate settlements, and take actions on cases, all from the convenience of their computers or tablets.  Ohio BTA staff members have new tools to streamline and automate their workflow, reduce the use of paper files, and improve efficiency and service to citizens.

Cinnie Noble- I like this story about the expression chancing your arm and thought I would pass it on to you. My colleague Mary Rafferty used it recently when referring to someone taking a risk and I had never heard of it. The phrase’s roots did have risk attached to it and also a peaceful gesture.

The Most Important Conflict Resolution Tips I Learned From Being an RA

New online conflict resolution course: Calm, Cool, and Collected

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