Mediation and Lawyers: The Disconnect

Nancy Hudgins- I’m seeing a disconnect between what the best negotiation professors are advocating as well as what’s being taught to current law students about mediation versus what’s actually taking place in front of me in many civil litigation mediations.

Current teaching.   Law students are being taught the following skills:

  1. encouraging clients to speak during the      mediation
  2. establishing a problem-solving      relationship with the other side, if possible
  3. recognizing the other side’s interests      and trying to satisfy them when possible, given their client’s interests

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Arnold Zeman- The starting point for the transformative model of mediation is an understanding of the nature of conflict as a crisis in human interaction. In this view, the crisis is characterized by two kinds of adverse impacts. First, in conflict each individual has a sense of her own diminished capacity to move past the situation. Second, each individual becomes more self-absorbed and, consequently, unable to see and hear the other person in an undistorted way. The transformative model then articulates how conversation, whether or not with an impartial third person, can foster the conditions within which people may move beyond their circumstances.

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Before you hit send: emails and conflict escalation

by Bryan Hanson

We have all done it, we read an email, interpreted ill intention, and fired off a defensive response that can turn a simple matter into a highly escalated conflict. I don’t believe anyone would disagree that email is a very difficult way to address conflicts, yet it is often an approach we will take. It feels safe, it seems simple, and it gives us an opportunity to express what we want to without being interrupted or receiving direct, face-to-face feedback that may make us feel uncomfortable. 

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How Good Emailing Can Improve a Bad Relationship

Email seems like a perfect solution. It is written — so no shouting. It is a record — so everyone should be respectful. Writing gives one time to think about what one wants to say — so no emotional outbursts. It is right there in black and white — so no misunderstandings.

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Cinnie NobleWhen we have had a dispute with another person, it is sometimes the case that the facts about what happened become distorted. This depends for instance, on how hurt and offended we feel, our relationship with the other person, our mood that day including extraneous matters that affect us and a host of other influences. Such factors have an impact on the ‘spin’ we convey to others on what transpired such as what we said and what the other person said.

Read More [HERE]

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