Tag Archives: mediation

ABA Mediation Week 2013 – Event Today

Sarah, who is an active member of the ABA, is pleased to again co-sponsor a mediation week event with the Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution at the University of Missouri’s School of Law, and the Association of Missouri Mediators.  Both of these organizations have long been involved in “bridging differences in positions, perspectives and people through mediation”, which is the focus of this year’s mediation week.  This event will also be streamed on-line.

We also welcome the end of the government shut-down.  With that experience behind us we can always hope that we will move towards a political culture with less brinksmanship, name-calling, misinformation, and shortsightedness.  In addition to reviewing ABA Resolution 108, we would recommend two of William Ury’s books – Getting Past No, and The Power of A Positive No –  to all who would like to improve the ways we work through difficult issues.  All of us, citizens and elected leaders alike, can work to make our politics more effective.

ABA Mediation Week 2013 – Additional Resources

The ABA has a number of resources to help families, businesses and other organizations think about how to effectively resolve disputes through mediation.  Many of these are available through the Mediation Week Toolkit.   If you are a party thinking about mediation or a mediator working with parties, you will find the downloadable mediation guides  useful.  In addition to the general guide there are guides for family mediation, and complex mediation.  The ABA has also prepared a resource to help businesses plan for early dispute resolution.   Another great resource for parties to a dispute – including parents battling over custody, feuding partners, and disputing neighbors –  is the “difficult conversation preparation worksheet” and instructions created and shared by Triad Consulting on their website.  We urge you to review, use, and share these resources!

ABA Mediation Week 2013 – Looking Back At Resolution 108

In 2011, the American Bar Association passed its Resolution 108, affirming civility as a foundation for democracy and the rule of law.  The accompanying report warned that the increasing levels of “acrimony and venom” and “polarizing diatribe”  in our political discourse endangered the quality of governmental decision-making and left “citizens frustrated, disillusioned, and reluctant to participate in democratic governance.”

And here we are, starting ABA Mediation Week 2013, in the midst of a shutdown of the federal government.  And this is accompanied by the fear of a possible default on our national debt.  Will reason and statesmanship prevail over distrust, misinformation and power-based gamesmanship?  We can hope that it will, and we can also each individually resolve to act to improve our national politics in the year to come by practicing and promoting the skills needed for more civil discourse.

Mediators and facilitators are well equipped to teach the tools that can help citizens actively question the information they receive; identify and focus on common interests;  reaffirm and apply commonly held values; and change the patterns of communication that lead to debate rather than productive dialogue.

In the words of the report accompanying ABA Resolution 108,

“Words matter.  How we treat each other matters.  In our public discourse, it is time to begin talking to each other with mutual respect, no matter how much we disagree.”

If enough of us commit to this principle, work to understand both those with whom we may not agree and the complexity of the issues before us, and demand that our elected officials do the same, we may be able to fix what is broken in our current system.

Celebrate ABA Mediation Week 2012

Welcome to ABA Mediation Week 2012!  You are invited to join us at a celebration of mediation and civil public discourse at the University Missouri law school on Friday October 19 at 5:30 p.m.  The ABA’s Mediation Week Tool-kit features several resources on civic engagement, including this blog.

We have been busy over the past few months promoting civil public discourse.  Just last week Dave was in Seattle, Washington presenting  our paper “Conflict Clues That Help You Navigate To Resolution” at the Civil Discourse to Resolve Governmental Crises conference that was co-sponsored by the Evergreen Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration and the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs of the University of Washington.

Sarah was a chapter moderator for the NCCD’s first-ever book club, helping lead the discussion on the Aristotelian model of public deliberation.  Sarah also spoke again on managing conflict at the Missouri Municipal League’s Elected Officials Training in June and recruited some members there for a pilot project we are running with our new workbook, “The Civic Health Diagnostic Workbook”.  You can order copies of our workbook ($80.00) by e-mailing us at info@buildingdialogue.com.

Several post series from this blog continue to be actively accessed resources.  Most popular series currently include the series on  working through hate, structuring engagement, and using evaluation to strengthen dialogue efforts.  We welcome your ongoing review and comment and thank you for your work!

Civility and Civil Public Discourse: On-line Tools For Collaboration Rather Than Complaint

The fourth video we have sponsored in support of the American Bar Association’s Mediation Week looks at how on-line communication has affected our political discourse, and new platforms that foster more civil discourse.     The video, “On-line Tools For Collaboration Rather Than Complaint”  features a discussion between Sarah Read of The Communications Center, Inc. and Scott Christianson from Kaleidoscope Consulting and VTC Stream.  We invite you to look at several of the sites discussed in the video, including:

White House Open Initiative

Democratizing Data

Manor Labs

Albemarle, VA

Results Minneapolis

Two sites that publish useful studies about online platforms that government entities can use for collaboration include the IBM Business of Government site, and the Knight Commission site which focuses on the information needs of communities in a democracy.

Talk with others about promoting more civil discourse on-line and integrating on-line participation with your systems of government.  We also invite you to share your comments and experiences by using the comment feature on this blog.

All videos were recorded using VTC Stream.  Find out more about this technology at vtcstream.com.  You can use the “embed and share” link to the right of the video to post this to your website or other location.

Civility and Civil Public Discourse: What’s Faith Got To Do With It?

The third video we have sponsored in support of the American Bar Association’s Mediation Week looks at the role religion has played in our current partisan divides and could play in promoting and supporting civil discourse.  The video, “Civility and Civil Public Discourse: What’s Faith Got To Do With It?” features an interview with two retired ministers from The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Reverend Larry Veatch and Reverend John Yonker who discuss why and how people of faith care for, and learn from, each other even as they explore their differences.  We invite you to show this video in your own faith community and invite further discussion.  Here are some questions you might ask the group to consider: what are the traditions in your own faith regarding faith and politics? what texts support civil discourse? what in the video resonated or raised concerns?  how do we as people of faith share our values and also honor our country’s tradition of separation of church and state? We invite you to share your comments and experiences by using the comment feature on this blog.

All videos were recorded using VTC Stream.  Find out more about this technology at vtcstream.com.  You can use the “embed and share” link to the right of the video to post this to your website or other location.