Jonathan Reitman, one of the New England mediation community’s most beloved and respected figures, asks, “Is there mediation fatigue?” as he considers what happens to a mediator’s ability to be compassionate when mediators are exposed on a regular basis to traumatic stories told by their clients. This is required reading for any mediator whose work routinely exposes him or her to suffering.
At MediationTools.com you’ll find “Impasse is a Fallacy“, an article by dispute resolution professional Lee Jay Berman with strategies for mediators to avoid stalemates and jump-start stalled negotiations.
Before I refer readers to online resources or tools, they must first meet a few criteria. It’s got to be stuff that’s readily available on the web (which usually means no registration or subscription required and preferably is either free or really, really cheap). I’m making an exception today for the Engaging Conflicts electronic newsletter (which is free but does require you to sign up with an email address to receive). Produced by Gini Nelson, this outstanding newsletter regularly features interviews with extraordinary individuals in the dispute resolution field. The most recent edition introduced newsletter subscribers to Emmy Irobi, a conflict resolution specialist now living in Poland, who once served as a child soldier in Biafra and has first-hand experience of the human tragedy that conflict and violence give rise to. Although I know that many readers want to reduce the influx of email, this is one newsletter that consistently delivers great content with information relevant to any dispute resolution professional.
In the “you’ve got to be kidding me” category is a story of an Illinois teenager punished with two detentions by her public elementary school for — get this — hugging two classmates. (For full appreciation of just how dumb this disciplinary action is, watch this interview with the girl and her parents.) (Thanks to QuizLaw for the link. A caution to those of you with delicate sensibilities — QuizLaw in its post uses language that would land it a week’s worth of detentions, so careful as you click.)
In case you hadn’t heard, Tammy Lenski of Mediator Tech is offering for download free copies of the first chapter of her soon-to-be-released book, Making Mediation Your Day Job. Tammy is known for her wise advice, generously dispensed to readers of her blog.
At the Chronicle of Higher Education, read about one university administrator’s growing appreciation for the role of conflict resolution in addressing institutional disputes in “When Private Animosities Distort Professional Judgment“.
Finally, I close with a titillatingly captioned mediation-related news story: “Mediation ordered for topless bar owner, landlord“. Some mediators get all the fun cases.