What's Happening In Conflict Resolution [07.07.15]

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].

Mediators are neutrals. A mediator is not a fact-finder, and should not act as a judge to decide the merits of a case. The role of a mediator is to be a facilitator, to assist the parties in finding a mutually acceptable resolution of their dispute, not to dictate that resolution. At the start of a mediation, everyone usually agrees that this is the mediator’s role. Yet, part of the mediation process is an attempt by each party to convince the mediator that the other party’s position is wrong so that the mediator will put more pressure on the other party to alter its bargaining position. After a day of shuttling back and forth between the parties, a mediator often has a good sense of whether a settlement can be achieved, even if the parties have not found common ground.

The parties may appear to be dug in to their final positions, and neither will make another offer. It may appear that the mediation has failed, but it may only be that neither party is willing to make the next move to overcome the difference between their positions. In this context, the parties may request that the mediator propose a number that the parties may then only accept or reject.

Should the mediator comply with such a request?

Read more rom the National Law Review [here].

WHY CONFLICT RESOLUTION IS A FIELD IN CRISIS: Conflict resolution is a field in a perpetual state of crisis, which is why it's never been a better time to be a mediator - watch this interview

Jill M. ZuerleinThere is a crisis in the field of mediation and has been for some time, so what's new! Dr Bernie Mayer has a very interesting take on it. It's easy for us as a field to locate our frustration and blame 'the market' for the slow mainstream adoption of mediation and ADR - well how about we hold up the mirror at our own blind spots? 

In the interview Bernie addresses the following:

  1. The ten beliefs that conflict resolution practitioners share that undermine our growth.
  2. How we need a new brand of professional and what that looks like.
  3. Why we need to strengthen the clarity that we share about what's at the heart of what we do.

Read more and watch the video [HERE]. 

#RenoACR15Organizational Ombuds- Expand your skills toolbox

Join expert ombuds Barbara Beatty (Deputy Dispute Resolution Officer, Texas Department of Public Safety) and Rita Callahan (Associate Ombuds, UC Davis) for a full day training at the ACR national conference. This will be a great opportunity to expand your skills tool box by identifying and intentionally incorporating skills utilized in other alternative dispute resolution practice areas.

This interactive and dynamic session will focus on enhancing skills utilized in mediation (process, positions v. interests, and listening for agreements) and facilitation (purpose, process design, confidentiality, and types of activities) for the purpose of enhancing ombuds’ practice.

More information on the conference: http://reno.acrnet.org/ombuds

Register for the conference [HERE]

Obama Announces Change in Hostage Policy

President Barack Obama announced Wednesday that the government will no longer threaten to criminally prosecute families of American hostages who pay ransom to get loved ones back from such groups as ISIS —just one of several policy changes following a multi-month examination of how the government operates in situations when Americans abroad are held captive by terrorist organizations.

"The families have told us and told me directly about their frequent frustrations in dealing with their own government," the president said on Wednesday adding "That's totally unacceptable."

…The president also underscored that the administration still believes in a no-concessions policy in dealing with terrorists but makes clear for the first time that "no concessions" does not mean "no communication."

Read more and watch the video at NBCnews.com [HERE]. 

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