It’s entirely understandable that retired judges and experienced litigators would want to work as mediators. In their work, they’ve seen how expensive, exhausting and frustrating lawsuits were for litigants. When they’ve finished serving as judges or litigators, they are motivated to do something for litigants that feels more helpful. Unfortunately, their experience makes them especially […]

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In the heat of conflict, we experience diminished access to our sense of inner strength and our awareness of our connection to others.  At these times, we behave destructively, in ways that harm ourselves and those we’re in conflict with.  At our worst moments, we have the urge to lash out at the other side, […]

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Transformative theory describes the phenomenon of conflict escalation (aka interactional degeneration). It acknowledges people’s propensity to fall into a vicious cycle of feeling threatened, losing compassion for each other, and then behaving in ways that perpetuate or worsen those experiences. In that vicious cycle, we behave in ways that are either too aggressive or too […]

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According to the employee, he’d been ready and able to go back to work for the past 6 months.  What’s more, the medical division had officially cleared him to go back to work 6 months ago. Despite periodic phone calls to his manager and to the medical division, the employee wasn’t told by management that […]

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Guest Post by Sheri Tardio Last weekend I and about 20 other mediators from Calvert and St. Mary’s counties in Maryland took an advanced training in mediating parenting plans from a transformative perspective. We were extremely fortunate to have Jeff Shepardson from the Community Dispute Resolution Center (CDRC) in New York travel down south to […]

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In some circles, name-calling is considered to be counterproductive in a mediation session. Some mediators suggest “no name-calling” as a helpful ground rule. While choosing to call someone by their preferred name can also be a wonderful choice for a party, here are 6 reasons mediators should consider being open to parties calling each other […]

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“Trust the process,” said the mediator. He was leading a divorcing couple through a discussion of the items in their budgets. The husband was saying that he didn’t care what his wife’s cable bill would be – he said it had no impact on the alimony he would pay. The mediator said, “Ok, but just […]

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