With Age Comes Wisdom

Guest writer Julie Denny is presenting along with Debra Dupre and Zena Zumeta at the 2013 ACR Annual Conference

We are three experienced mediators. We will gather at this year’s ACR Conference in Minneapolis to discuss Advanced Techniques with special emphasis on Workplace situations.  Collectively, we have been mediating and intervening in conflicts for about 60 years.

Over that time we have modified our approaches, our styles and the services we offer.

Today, when invited to “mediate a dispute”, any one of us may spend a fair amount of time interviewing parties involved in that dispute as well as other stakeholders in any given organization. Sometimes peers may become involved and often managers and supervisors who are not actually parties in the conflict.

Based on our assessments of the situation, we may recommend mediation, conflict coaching, team building, large group discussions, training or some combination of the above.  Sometimes it means we lose business because we refer clients to colleagues better versed in a given process and sometimes it means we get more business because we develop a multi-level strategy for dealing with the presenting issues.

We find ourselves honoring Bernie Mayer’s concept of reaching Beyond Neutrality. Sometimes that means actually giving advice. Though called in to “mediate,” we have grown to see that there are other sometimes more effective options for changing the dynamics in an organization and we have incorporated them into our respective practices. We have learned that a single dispute between two parties may be an indication of a larger issue in the organization and we are open to exploring that bigger picture.

We also place a high value on emotion. Rather than follow the traditional business orientation that feelings have no place in the workplace, we listen for the presence of emotion and probe for richer discussion. We have c

ome to recognize that dollars are rarely the only issue on the table and we specifically and intentionally explore the feelings that drive the demands.

Come join us on Thursday, October  10th from 11:00 – 12:30 to learn more about the Wisdom of (our) Ages!

Julie Denny Julie Denny is owner of Princeton, NJ-based Resolutions which provides mediation, facilitation and training services. She has been mediating since 1993. Prior to that she directed marketing services for a series of online news services at the Associated Press, McGraw-Hill and Dow Jones. She is an Advanced Practitioner of the Association for Conflict Resolution Workplace and Family Sections and is a special professor at Hofstra School of Law.

Julie serves as a contract mediator on the USPS, EEOC, TSA and Key Bridge Foundation mediation panels. She frequently consults with various organizations in the areas of communication and conflict. Clients have included American Express, Tyson Foods, Pharmanet, Roundabout Theatre Company, Draft Worldwide, Christie’s Auction House, Johnson & Johnson and dozens of not-for-profit organizations.

She is Immediate Past President of ACRGNY, current Tri-Chair of the Workplace Section of ACR and an Associate of the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and is currently teaching Transformative Mediation in the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Continuing Education program.



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