Belated Happy International Women’s Day (it was yesterday)! Omni Brain at Science Blogs used the day to highlight the 4000 Years of Women in Science site, and the Women in Science site. Omni Brain’s post contrasted these women’s real achievements with:
Louann Brizendine, author of best-selling book The Female Brain, which Nature described as “riddled with scientific errors”. In an NPR Fresh Air radio broadcast, linguist Geoff Nunberg announced that Brizendine was the unanimous winner of the first annual Becky Award for “the single most ridiculous or misleading bit of linguistic nonsense that somebody manages to put over in the media.”
Mark Liberman of Language Log disproved her claim that women use 20,000 words per day, and speak faster, compared to men averaging 7,000. (Turns out she referenced a 1970s self-help guru who simply made it up.) But despite his efforts and the bestowing of the 2006 Becky Award, the stereotyped fictitious claims are still being propagated: Elle Magazine wrote about it in their February issue.
EngagingConflicts previously posted about Brizendine’s book here.
Note: Please change your bookmarks to the new site: www.EngagingConflicts.com.
As previously posted in EngagingConflicts here, there is a significant ethical critique of Collaborative Law, and a growing movement for the practice of Cooperative Law. The main issue is Collaborative Law’s requirement of mandatory attorney disqualification if the process is unsuccessful. Cooperative Law is defined in the Colorado Ethics Committee’s Opinion as identical to Collaborative Law, but without the mandatory attorney disqualification agreement.
This is the Conclusion from Ethics Opinion 115: Ethical Considerations in the Collaborative and Cooperative Law Contexts (Adopted February 24, 2006)(note: date is probably a typo, as this Opinion has just been released):
The Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit a lawyer from participating in Collaborative Law so long as a contractual obligation exists between the lawyer and the opposing party whereby the lawyer agrees to terminate the representation of the client. Absent such a contractual obligation, a lawyer may participate in the process referred to as Cooperative Law provided that the lawyer complies with all of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
The Opinion lays out the Committee’s analysis, and also provides an extensive discussion of the “myriad potential ethical pitfalls” in a Cooperative Law practice, which include provisions relating to terminating the attorney-client relationship; communications with the client (concerning the applicable range of alternative courses of action in the client’s case); considerations of whether the client is under a disability (particularly if there is a history of domestic abuse in the family law context); and Cooperative Law organizations (as possibly impermissible referral services). These issues are also potentially relevant in jurisdictions where a Collaborative Law practice is not per se unethical.
Colorado does not have a mandatory bar association, and the Committee’s opinion is not per se binding on attorneys. However, it is a powerful statement about the practice of Collaborative (and Cooperative) Law in Colorado, and of the potential issues everywhere.
This is how the Colorado Ethics Committee describes itself (from its website):
The Colorado Bar Association Ethics Committee is a standing committee of the Colorado Bar Association, staffed by approximately 90 Colorado attorneys, existing for the purpose of giving ethics advice to Colorado attorneys. The Committee will answer written requests for ethics advice subject to certain exceptions such as those listed below. The Committee will issue Formal Ethics Opinions concerning topics of general interest. . . .
The Ethics Committee is NOT associated with the Colorado Supreme Court, the Presiding Disciplinary Judge, the Attorney Regulation Committee, or the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel. Committee Opinions, whether informal written opinions or published formal Ethics Opinions, are issued for advisory purposes only and are not in any way binding on the Colorado Supreme Court, the Presiding Disciplinary Judge, the Attorney Regulation Committee, Attorney Regulation Counsel, or the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel and do not provide protection against disciplinary actions.
The opinion is not yet posted at its website. If you would like a copy, please send an email to email@example.com, with “Opinion” in the subject line, and I’ll send back a copy.
Be sure to bookmark the new location of this blog: www.EngagingConflicts.com.
So I said when I published my first article on collaborative law in the Los Alamos Monitor in July 2002. Indeed, it has continued to grow, and, from it, Cooperative Law, both topics in Engaging Conflicts, with leading Guest Bloggers starting soon. I posted earlier about John Lande’s work in Cooperative Law — John is one of the upcoming Guest Bloggers — but some people would like a basic introduction to Collaborative Law concepts as part of learning more about Cooperative Law. Thus, I’m republishing my article.
Collaborative Law is a form of lawyering that is, to some degree, a hybrid of an unbundled practice approach that uses a mediative negotiation style. It seeks to integrate non-adversarial and cooperative strategies, and relies heavily on the empowerment of the clients as informed decision-makers.
Lawyers who commit to being collaborative lawyers agree that they will never go to court in a particular case if settlement negotiations fail; and they meet in four-way meetings in which the clients are empowered to play a major role.
The clients themselves may conduct the settlement negotiations, with their lawyers there to assure there is also legal protection. Thus, collaborative family practice, where it is established, can become the third primary dispute resolution option for families in divorce and/or separation, together with mediation and litigation.
Like mediation, it isn’t the best choice for everyone, but, also like mediation, it can be well worth considering if some or all of the following are true for both parties:
a. You want a civilized, respectful resolution of the issues.
b. You would like to keep open the possibility of friendship with your partner down the road.
c. You and your partner will be co-parenting children together and you want the best co-parenting relationship possible.
d. You want to protect your children from the harm associated with litigated dispute-resolution between parents.
e. You and your partner have a circle of friends and extended family in common that you both want to remain connected to.
f. You have ethical or spiritual beliefs that place high value on taking personal responsibility for handling conflicts with integrity.
g. You value privacy in your personal affairs and do not want details of your family restructuring to be available in the public court record.
h. You value control and autonomous decisionmaking and do not want to hand over decisions about restructuring your financial and/or child-rearing arrangements to a stranger (i.e., a judge).
i. You recognize the restricted range of outcomes and “rough justice” generally available in the public court system, and want a more creative and individualized range of choices available to you and your spouse or partner for resolving your issues.
j. You place as much or more value on the relationships that will exist in your restructured family situation as you place on obtaining the maximum possible amount of money for yourself.
k. You understand that conflict resolution with integrity involves achieving not only your own goals but finding a way to achieve the reasonable goals of the other person.
Pauline H. Teschler, Esq., Collaborative Law FAQs, [from a site available in 2002, but no longer available. Note: Ms. Teschler, a pioneer in speaking, writing and training in this area, published Collaborative Law, in 2001, and, in 2006, Collaborative Divorce, with Peggy Thompson].
It is different from mediation, in that the mediator is neutral, and cannot advise one side or advocate for one side over the other. While parties in mediation may have attorneys, the attorneys are seldom at the mediation sessions. In a collaborative law process, each party has their own attorney, at their side, to advise them and advocate for them, if necessary, throughout.
Not for all, but a growing trend, and here to stay.
Note: please move your bookmarks to the new site: www.EngagingConflicts.com.
Dear Friends of Peace,
You are cordially invited to attend the Building a Culture of Peace global conference on May 16-17 2007 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The conference will be held at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Santa Fe. Registration and further information is at www.worldpeaceconference.org.
This working conference will call together 500 local, national and global leaders for inquiry and strategic thinking on the question, “What would it take to transform the current culture of violence in our societies to a true culture of peace?”
Prominent peace leaders who will address us in plenary session are Arun Gandhi, and Nobel Peace Laureates Rigoberta Menchu Tum and Jody Williams, with H.H. the Dalai Lama joining the conference by video. The rest of our time will be structured around five Peace Councils:
- Our Youth, Our Promise:
- Demilitarization and a Peace Economy
- Knowing the Others as Ourselves
- The Living Spirit of Peace
- The Politics of Peace
Using an “Open Space” technology that allows for all participants to consider the issues they are passionate about, each Council will spend two days exploring the leading-edge questions related to their Council and our overall topic. They will be encouraged to identify best practices, share information and resources, build alliances and partnerships and explore (and commit to) strategic action steps.
The output from the conference - the plenary talks, data from the national leaders working with each Council and interviews - will be collected and made available online, as a next step towards a larger process of further galvanizing the global culture of peace movement.
Please join us, by registering at www.worldpeaceconference.org, where you can also find more details on the Councils and the conference theme. Register early as places are limited and the registration price of $45 goes to $65 on April 1. We have a group rate of 20% off, for prepaid registrations of 5 people or more - contact <firstname.lastname@example.org> for details.
If you are involved in an organization promoting peace, consider also promoting your work and ideas by taking a table ($25) at the Peace Fair, which will take place during the conference.
Please pass this email along to all your friends, colleagues and networks, so that those who choose peace as the path for our times will know about this rich and rare opportunity.
This post continues the series on adult development and complexity of mind (here are the links for Parts One, Two, Three), and Four), by exploring Carl Jung’s concepts of the midlife development of psychological type. The discussion in Parts Four and Five comes originally from articles by Catherine Fitzgerald, and Gae Walters, in Executive Coaching: Practices & Perspectives, Catherine Fitzgerald, Jennifer Garvey Berger, eds., Davies-Black Publishing, an imprint of Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc., 2002, and has been expanded since my initial Los Alamos Monitor column publication.
I overviewed Carl Jung’s psychological type concepts in Part Four of this series. Jung also concluded that the natural preferences that people develop and practice up through the first half of their lives are challenged at midlife (the late thirties and beyond). At that time, the “less developed, less refined, and more unconscious” functions intrude, demanding much more attention.
The person, Jung believed, wants to be more fully developed and may have a need (whether conscious or not) to pursue a search for personal meaning that includes exploring and developing less-used aspects of her personality. An Intuitive type (whose perception relies on insights, patterns and hunches) may be drawn at times to “staying present moment-to-moment in the real world, rather than focusing on associations and the future.” A Feeling type (who makes decisions based on subjective and personal ways of deciding) may separate from others and assert his own interests and needs even when in conflict with others he cares about.
These psychological and emotional demands of midlife often conflict with an individual’s long-standing family and work patterns based on the preferred dimensions which developed through the first half of life. Fitzgerald, in her book Executive Coaching, sees three stages of midlife for executives, which presumably could hold true for any of us: (1) getting inklings of the new reactions and desires (which surprise and disorient); (2) going underground (working on the new reactions and desires privately); and (3) bringing the new, larger self out into the world.
Many of us working in conflict professions see individuals who are undergoing personal, mid-life change that involves them in conflict with others. Jung’s theory tieing such changes to type development can be a useful tool for conflict specialists.
Please go to the new location: www.EngagingConflicts.com.
Note: The books mentioned in this post are available at your local libraries and bookstores, of course, but you can also buy them online through my Amazon.com link in the right-hand sidebar at the new location to help support my blogging (and I will appreciate it, if you do!)
This post continues the series on adult development and complexity of mind (here are the links for Parts One, Two, and Three), by exploring Carl Jung‘s concepts of psychological type. Part Five of the series will explore Jung’s concept of the differences between the first and second halves of life. This discussion comes originally from articles by Catherine Fitzgerald, and Gae Walters, in Executive Coaching: Practices & Perspectives, Catherine Fitzgerald, Jennifer Garvey Berger, eds., Davies-Black Publishing, an imprint of Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc., 2002, and has been expanded since my initial Los Alamos Monitor column publication.
Jung‘s theory of psychological type describes distinct personality characteristics that can help us understand common differences (and similarities) among people. Jung identified three dimensions of individual personality differences, each with two polar opposites: Extraversion-Introversion, Sensing-Intuition, and Thinking-Feeling. Jung’s work was later expanded into a tool often used in business and coaching settings to identify these preferences, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator©, which added a fourth dimension, Judging-Perceiving. The MBTI© is probably the most widely used assessment instrument of its kind, with millions administered annually in the US, and more in other countries around the world. I personally am so persuaded of the value of its “theory to practice” applications that I became a qualified administrator of the instrument, and use it in my practice.
Jung felt that every person develops natural inclinations and preferences among these dimensions. Practitioners commonly use the analogy of “handedness” – whether you are born right-handed or left-handed. Regardless of your handedness, you can and do use both hands, and, similarly, whether you are born with a preference for Thinking or Feeling, for example, you can and do use both. However, as with your handedness, you will generally be more inclined to use the preference you were born with, and be more comfortable using it, and more skillful.
The terms have meanings quite different from how they are stereotypically understood. For example, the Extraversion-Introversion dimension is not about whether a person is loud at parties, or quiet and withdrawn. Rather, it describes how people derive their energy from the world. Extraverts “draw their energy from action and interaction with the external world. They work best with people around them as they talk their way through to new ideas and decisions.“ Introverts “draw their energy from reflection and contemplation within the internal world of thoughts and ideas. Ideas and clarity develop most readily when the Introvert is being quietly contemplative.”
The Sensing-Intuition dimension is how we take in information about the world, either with a preference for information immediately perceived by our senses, and on what “is,” or with a preference for drawing inferences from more or other, not immediately obvious sources, and on what “could be.”
The Thinking-Feeling dimension is how we evaluate what is most important in coming to decisions, either with a preference for rational, objective, universally applicable criteria, or with a preference for subjective applications taking into account the impact of decisions on individuals and social harmony. Note: Feeling, as used here, must not be confused with “emotions.”
The Judging–Perceiving dimension refers to an individual’s need for structure and closure. I sometimes describe it this way: a person with a Judging preference wants to solve the puzzle, while a person with a Perceiving preference wants to play with the puzzle.
Further work by psychological researchers confirms validity of these four dimensions, calling them factors of personality, and has identified a fifth factor, Neuroticism, which is not assessed by the instrument.
The MBTI© produces an assessment of personality based on the specific preferences among the four dimensions, e.g., identifying a person as an ENFP (Extraversion/Intuition/Feeling/Perceiving) personality type. (Note: N is used for Intuition, because I is already used for Introversion). Each of the sixteen types of this typology understands and acts in the world differently from another.
Theory to practice applications include Communicating With Type In Mind During Conflict, the subject and title of a workshop I’ll be presenting at the New Mexico Mediation Association’s Winter Convocation in Albuquerque, New Mexico on March 31, 2007. The program will overview applications in mediation and benefits to mediators and other conflict specialists in knowing and applying the principles. Applications include assisting clients in getting through misunderstandings based on type differences, identifying blind spots in the problem-solving process based on type, use of type to bridge cultural and gender differences based on type similarities, and the mediator’s own use of type to identify the kind of practice she wants.
Remember to go to the new site – www.EngagingConflicts.com.
Note: The books mentioned in this post are available at your local libraries and bookstores, of course, but you can also buy them online through my Amazon.com link in the right-hand sidebar at the new location (and I will appreciate it, if you do!)
This post continues the series on adult development and adult complexity of mind, a relatively new field of study and application about how human thinking capacities evolve sequentially and how these theories can be practically applied in such fields as adult learning, professional development, and leadership development, all of which are relevant for attorneys, mediators and others working in conflict management and resolution. Part One, which overviewed transformational learning, as distinguished from informational learning, and Part Two, which introduced psychological theorist Robert Kegan’s theory of adult development of mind, are found here and here.
Most adults are at Kegan’s Third Order in his five staged orders of mind. They may live most or all of their lives in it. They perhaps strive to live good lives as defined by the norms and standards of their societal institutions, such as family, government, profession. These norms and standards have been internalized – they are “subjects,” that cannot easily be questioned. Adults at the Third Order are living something greater than narrow, self-centered interests – they can consider the impact of their actions on others, and choose, e.g., personal discomfort or risk in order to do what is right for their family. They have difficulty, however, when there are conflicts between important ideologies, institutions or people – they feel torn in two and have difficulty making decisions.
However, according to Kegan, this level of adult development of mind does not give the adult what contemporary life so often demands — contemporary life often requires us to mediate between many conflicting important ideologies, institutions and key people. Therefore, according to Kegan, most adults are “in over their heads,” much of the time.
At the Fourth Order, adults have a sense of self that is independent of their family, government, profession. The norms and standards of those institutions can be examined, questioned – they have become “objects.” These adults are not torn apart by conflicting ideologies, institutions or people, because they have created their own norms and standards. They are self-guided, self-motivated, and self-evaluative. They also have empathy and consider other peoples’ needs and wishes when they make decisions.
According to Kegan, less than half of all adults are at the Fourth Order, even though this is the modern image of what adults are supposed to be like.
The Fifth Order never appears before midlife, and then, only rarely. Adults at this Order have the greatest complexity of mind. They understand and deal better with paradox, consider the broadest ranges of opinions and governing systems, and see similarities where previously they saw differences.
It is important to note that these theories do not say that any one order is better than another. Application of the theories may help us in our lives and in our careers look at the fit between the complexity of mind of a person and his or her role or environment, in order to better support the person in growth and/or constructive accommodation to the required tasks. If an adult at the Third Order is asked to do tasks better suited to someone at the Fourth Order, and vice versa, there will be internal and possibly institutional conflict.
In the work context, for example, an adult being asked to perform more complex tasks, such as may happen in moving from a well-defined job to one with a more ambiguous structure, may feel overwhelmed and inadequate – this adult must not only be able to meet demands, but also identify and choose among conflicting demands. An adult asked to perform less complex tasks, such as may happen when the adult has outgrown a role or part of the organization, may feel underutilized and under-valued.
There are many analogous applications in our various practices as we engage conflicts. Kegan has also published an excellent book applying the principles to communication techniques that will best support transformation in individuals, titled How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work (co-authored with Lisa Laskow).
Remember to go to the new site — www.EngagingConflicts.com.
Note: The books in this post are available at your local libraries and bookstores, of course, but you can also buy them online through my Amazon.com link in the right-hand sidebar at the new location.
This post continues the series on adult development and adult complexity of mind, a relatively new field of study and application about how human thinking capacities evolve sequentially and how these theories can be practically applied in such fields as adult learning, professional development, and leadership development, all of which are relevant for attorneys, mediators and others working in conflict management and resolution. Part One is found here.
In Part One of this series on adult development and complexity of mind, I talked about transformational learning, defined as learning that leads to greater complexity of mind, that is, broader perspective taking. It is different from informational learning, which more simply adds knowledge to the mind, and does not itself develop the complexity of the mind. Understanding these complex and important ideas may help all of us think and act with the increased complexity necessary for sustained success in today’s world. Parts Two and Three will explore the basis of this theory in constructive-developmental psychology. Parts Four and Five will introduce Carl Jung‘s theoretical framework of mid-life as a natural epoch in human development.
Children and adults see vastly different worlds. To a small child, the view from an airplane is of miniature people and houses and cars, while an adult knows that they are full-sized objects that only look small from the perspective of the plane’s height. As the child grows and matures, she, too, comes to understand that an object remains the same size, whether it is seen close up or from afar, even though it looks bigger or smaller. This is an example of cognitive development. Just as children’s brains develop in complexity of thought, so, too, can an adult’s brain, according to constructive-developmental psychology theorist Robert Kegan.
Catherine Fitzgerald, in Executive Coaching discusses his theories as they apply to executive coaching, but they are applicable to many social and personal situations, including those with conflict. For more information, see Fitzgerald, Catherine and Garvey Berger, Jennifer, Leadership and Complexity of Mind: The Role of Executive Coaching, in Executive Coaching: Practices & Perspectives, Catherine Fitzgerald, Jennifer Garvey Berger, eds., Davies-Black Publishing, an imprint of Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc., 2002.
How do people make meaning of the world around them? Kegan discusses one particular aspect of transformational learning, the movement of something from Subject to Object. At one time, people believed that the world was flat, and that assumption (that the world was flat) was not questioned. An unquestioned assumption is as if it is part of the person, a “subject.” It is not an “object,” i.e., something outside of oneself that can be examined, considered, or evaluated from some different perspective.
When an assumption is a “subject,” it both shapes how the world is understood, and it cannot be questioned. If the world is flat, you don’t sail too far towards the edge of the world, and you may attack people who say it is not flat. However, if you understand that the flatness of the world is an assumption, not a fact, you might consider what others say about it, and even sail towards the edge of the world to check it out.
To Kegan, the more assumptions about the world that are made Object instead of Subject, the more complex the mind, and the greater the ability of a person to see, reflect on, be responsible for, and shape her own world.
Fitzgerald gives these as examples of insights that involve a Subject-Object shift:
- I was always the responsible one in my family and I guess I ended up controlling things. I’ve been talking about empowering staff, but I haven’t really been willing to give up control.
- I was taught that being loyal to my boss and my company came first, but now I see that doing the right thing can be much more important than loyalty.
Id. at 30-31. These movements are very challenging, and insights learned often seem to disappear shortly after being gained. Kegan suggests these movements involve a psychological muscle that must be built and strengthened over time. These movements are the process of cognitive development.
The existence of five qualitatively different “orders of mind” is another key aspect of Kegan’s constructive-developmental theory. Each is a different way of constructing reality (”seeing” the world), ranging from less to more complex. These are stages along the developmental journey. Each order preserves the complexity learned at the earlier orders.
According to Kegan, the First Order is made up almost totally of young children, and involves magical thinking. The Second Order is made up of older children and adolescents, and adults who still think like them. These adults are self-centered and see people as aids or obstacles to what they want. If they don’t break rules, it’s because they are afraid of being caught.
Tomorrow, I’ll discuss the other Orders of Mind.
Remember to go to the new site, www.EngagingConflicts.com.
This post marks the beginning of a series on adult development and adult complexity of mind, a relatively new field of study and application about how human thinking capacities evolve sequentially and how these theories can be practically applied in such fields as adult learning, professional development, and leadership development, all of which are relevant for attorneys, mediators and others working in conflict management and resolution. I previously published the series as part of a column I wrote in 2002 and 2003 for the print newspaper, the Los Alamos Monitor. The series will overview some of the leading theories and tools used in executive and leadership coaching: constructive-developmental psychology, Carl Jung’s theory framework of mid-life as a natural epoch in human development, and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator© (MBTI©).
“Complexity of mind” is defined as broader perspective taking. The ability to take and keep broader, additional perspectives in mind is crucial to developing competencies “such as systemic thinking and the ability to develop collaboration among diverse constituents, create learning organizations, and question and evaluate existing systems and models in order to innovate and make long-range strategic decisions.” Goodman, Robert G., “The Use of Adult Developmental Theory as a Basis for Transformative Change,” Executive Coaching: Practices & Perspectives, [edited by] Catherine Fitzgerald, Jennifer Garvey Berger, Jennifer, eds., Davies-Black Publishing, an imprint of Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc., 2002.
Does it matter how broad a perspective we take? If we are responsible for solving problems, it does. For example, we are advised to look at “performance improvement” when we are evaluating performance problems in an organization. It’s a form of training that focuses on solving problems, instead of on building specific skills, the focus of traditional training. In addition to skill training, performance improvement considers whether the organization structure supports the work flow, and whether the environmental work conditions are appropriate. According to one source:
[c]lose to 80% of performance barriers are environment-related. Developing job skills will not improve these organizational issues:
- Employee lacks necessary equipment
- Job description does not match the job
- Employee has wrong qualifications for the job
- No incentives to improve
- Employees are inadequately supervised
- Job progress is not monitored for immediate feedback
- Policies are out of step with expectations
- Manager has a hidden agenda
- Job procedures are out of date and do not support the process
- Design of the organization thwarts productivity
- Staff is not authorized to make related decisions
- Lack of organizational leadership
“Guide on the Side – A Model for Training and Improving Performance,” Marie Wallace, published at LLRX.com, one of the leading legal and technology resources on the internet.
Just as developing job skills will not help correct those organizational issues, so, too, will failure to evaluate and address a more subtle issue that may be present: failing to distinguish between informational learning and transformational learning. Informational learning has been defined as “new knowledge added to the current form of one’s mind,” and transformational learning, as “learning that changes the very form of one’s mind, making it more spacious, more complex, and more able to deal with multiple demands and with uncertainty.” Fitzgerald, Catherine and Garvey Berger, Jennifer, “Leadership and Complexity of Mind: The Role of Executive Coaching,” Executive Coaching: Practices & Perspectives, [edited by] Catherine Fitzgerald, Jennifer Garvey Berger, Jennifer, eds., Davies-Black Publishing, an imprint of Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc., 2002. In the next segment of the series, I’ll discuss this theory of constructive-developmental psychology.
You are invited to the First National Symposium on Ethical Standards for Elder Mediation, April 19-20, 2007 at Temple University’s James E. Beasley School of Law, Philadelphia, PA. Find all the details at www.mediation-services.org.
This exciting 2-day event will feature Harry “Rick” Moody, Nancy Neveloff Dubler, Robert Baruch Bush and distinguished panelists from the fields of mediation, elder law, bioethics, geriatric ethics, geriatric medicine and social work. The Symposium will tackle critical issues such as the impact of societal aging biases on the mediation process, capacity issues, and a mediator’s responsibility when the outcome of a mediation violates ethical and/or legal norms.
At this time, registration may be completed by mail and by check. On-line registration and credit card payment is available on our website at www.mediation-services.org.
Please note that space is limited to the first 100 registrants and that the super early bird fee of $325 that includes meals and the special Thursday evening dinner event is only good until February 15. Then regular and late fees apply. We expect to fill the Symposium to capacity, so please register early. You will receive confirmation of your admittance into the Symposium upon receipt of your registration and payment.
Please direct your questions to Kathryn Mariani at email@example.com or (610) 277-8909.
We hope to see you this spring!
Kristine, thank you, and thanks to ISTC for sponsoring such programs!
I’ve just published Vol. 2, #1 of Engaging Conflicts Today, featuring a “Spirit In Life and Practice: Kenneth R. Feinberg” interview. Ken was Special Master of the federal September 11 Victim Compensation Fund, an unprecedented effort to compensate the victims of 9/11. If you are not yet subscribed to Engaging Conflicts Today, please do so now (see the subscription link in the sidebar to the right), and I’ll also send you today’s issue.
Remember: Engaging Conflicts is now at www.EngagingConflicts.com!
Mediate.com, one of the leading websites for “Everything Conflict Resolution,” has just added a “Featured Blogs” page. Engaging Conflicts, Diane Levin’s Online Guide to Mediation, and Geoff Sharp’s mediator blah…blah… and Mediation vBlog Project sites are its Charter Members. Check it out, here: Mediate.com’s Featured Blogs.
Jim Melamed is one of the pioneers in using the internet to facilitate “everything conflict resolution,” among other things having co-founded Mediate.com with John Helie in 1996. I posted his 2002 article, Twenty Concepts and Recommendations For Utilizing the Internet, here, here, here, and here; and about my interview with him in Engaging Conflicts Today newsletter, here.
Thank you, Jim and Mediate.com, for this service and honor!
Note: cross-posted at EngagingConflicts.com, this blog’s new home.
John Lande is Director of the LL.M. Program in Dispute Resolution and Associate Professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. He teaches courses on Mediation and Non-Binding Methods of Dispute Resolution. His Scholarship focuses on institutionalization of mediation in the legal system and how lawyering and mediation practices affect each other. Among other issues, he writes extensively on Cooperative Law, an innovation developing in response to Collaborative Law, itself an important innovation in conflict engagement. Engaging Conflicts has a new category in 2007, Cooperative Law — Beyond Collaboration, to which this post belongs. John will also be a Guest Blogger and will be interviewed in Engaging Conflicts Today later in the winter about his work.
This is an abstract from his 2005 article: The Promise and Perils of Collaborative Law:
Getting people to use an interest-based approach in negotiation has been a difficult problem. Experts have provided helpful suggestions for ‘changing the game,’ though these ideas are usually limited to case-by-case efforts within a culture of adversarial negotiation. Collaborative law (CL) is an important innovation that establishes a general norm of interest-based negotiation and intentionally develops a new legal culture. CL reverses the traditional presumption that negotiators will use adversarial negotiation. CL parties and lawyers sign a participation agreement establishing the rules for the process. Under these agreements, lawyers and parties (negotiators) focus exclusively on negotiation, disclosing all relevant information and using an interest-based approach. Negotiators work primarily in four-way meetings in which everyone is expected to participate actively. A ‘disqualification agreement’ clause in the participation agreement provides that CL lawyers represent parties only in negotiation and are disqualified from representing them in litigation. (Although CL lawyers cannot litigate a CL case, CL parties can withdraw and hire other lawyers to litigate.) Professor Julie Macfarlane’s landmark study found that CL negotiators generally did not engage in adversarial negotiation and when they did so, they usually had more information and a more constructive spirit than in traditional negotiation. She found that CL parties generally benefited from improved communication and were satisfied with the process and their lawyers.
This article identifies four potential perils of CL. First, CL clients may have unrealistic expectations about the lawyers’ role, the time and expense involved, and implications of the disqualification agreement. Second, the CL process may result in excessive pressure to settle. Third, CL practitioners may violate rules of professional conduct. Fourth, CL practitioners may develop a quasi-religious orthodoxy that inhibits innovation and discourages clients from exercising legitimate process choices.
Here’s the article from his website.
Remember! Find and bookmark the new site: www.EngagingConflicts.com!
Santa Fe, New Mexico is a wonderful place to live for many reasons, including the eclectic mix of what used to be called New Age mysticism (I’m not sure what the current best term might be – the closest I come is quantum mysticism, now) and cutting edge science exemplified by the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), just 45 miles away. When I first moved here, I had to learn some physical and biological science (previously, I had done a masters in sociology, and a law degree) because I was an environmental attorney at the New Mexico Environment Department. I was the primary permitting and enforcement attorney for hazardous and radioactive waste issues, which, in New Mexico, included addressing the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) and uranium mill tailings, as well as LANL. I respect science – almost as much as I love the law – and my renamed blog topic category Theory to Practice is meant to facilitate both science education and practical applications of science.
Towards science education, I came across this 2003 Statement on New Mexico Science Education by the Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellows which, while not intended as such, gives some background to what science education is.
As to quantum mysticism, I am agnostic about it just as I am to any other religion or religious path. As I said in one of this blog’s introductory posts, Why Speak Of Spirit and Conflict In the Same Breath?:
What’s so engaging about conflict and spirit? First, most people get solace and direction in stressful times through their religious or spiritual beliefs; information that supports or enriches those beliefs (including practice tools) will strengthen that resource when facing conflict. Second, some people are stressed because of questions about religion and/or spirituality that they think arise out of science. But most of us don’t know much about science … what is it? More to the point, how does science help explain our impulses towards religion and spirituality, and how we chose to practice them (including explaining why those impulses can turn to violence and conflict in some circumstances)? Can the areas of science that relate to religion and spirituality help prevent, reduce, contain or resolve conflict?
Some people may experience conflict when confronting an insistence that there is only one way, or even just a best way, to experience and practice religion and/or spirituality — and what they know gives insufficient solace, or is different. Others may watch with confusion how some forms of religion are changing, as we see especially in the United States in the perhaps parallel growths of more fundamentalist mega churches, and post-modern quantum mysticism. Can science help here?
For the rest of that post, just click on the link. I’ve renamed this category Ethics and Spirit.
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I’ll be interviewing Michael Skoler later this winter for more about his work with Minnesota Public Radio’s innovative “Public Insight Journalism” — an innovative citizen journalism program. Michael is Executive Director of the Minnesota Public Radio’s and American Public Media’s new Center for Innovation in Journalism. Here’s a start about this program:
What is Public Insight Journalism?
Public Insight Journalism is a new way for Minnesota Public Radio journalists to find the best sources and the best information. The centerpiece of Public Insight Journalism is the Public Insight Network - a group of thousands of Minnesotans who have agreed to help us cover the news.
Every week, we ask people in that network to share their observations, knowledge and expertise with us. We take that information, distill it, and pass it on to our reporters and editors. They may follow up with a request for more information, or perhaps an interview.
We believe that this new approach to journalism will make Minnesota Public Radio an even more trusted and credible source of news and information.
For more information, go here: Minnesota Public Radio’s FAQ about Public Insight Journalism, and here.
Remember to move your bookmark and go to Engaging Conflict’s new home! Go to www.EngagingConflicts.com.
Discover magazine recently posted its list of the top 100 science stories of 2006, a special report on the most interesting, amazing, and important science news of the year. Articles of particular interest to conflict specialists include these articles about human nature: #72, the source of empathy found in mirror neurons; #58, what differentiates us from chimps, specifically, after comparing human and chimpanzee genomes, the discovery of 49 places where an accelerated rate of mutation stood out in the human genome, places called HARs, for “human accelerated regions;” and others among the top 6 mind and brain stories.
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The New York Times today has an op-ed contribution by Michael Tomasello, the co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, suggesting that the evolution of our highly visible human eyes — referring to the large whites of our eyes that are several times larger than those of other primates — “made it easier to coordinate close-range collaborative activities in which discerning where the other was looking and perhaps what she was planning, benefited both participants.” And why “collaborative”?
[E]volution cannot select the color of my eyes based on advantages to you. Evolutionary theory tells us that, in general, the only individuals who are around today are those whose ancestors did things that were beneficial to their own survival and reproduction. If I have eyes whose direction is especially easy to follow, it must be of some advantage to me.
If I am, in effect, advertising the direction of my eyes, I must be in a social environment full of others who are not often inclined to take advantage of this to my detriment — by, say, beating me to the food [that I have detected] or escaping aggression [from the approaching dominant male in a fighting mood] before me. Indeed, I must be in a cooperative social environment in which others following the directions of my eyes somehow benefits me.
Please note Engaging Conflict’s new address: www.EngagingConflicts.com.
Thanks to James Tyre for sharing this news release on Solosez, a listserve I subscribe to and love:
Press Release Source: Meth Coffee
Meth Coffee Launches with Super Caffeinated Brew
Wednesday January 10, 9:23 am ET
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 10 /PRNewswire/ — Meth Coffee, a rebel coffee company in San Francisco, opened for business today with the launch of its hard- hitting coffee roast for energy addicts and caffeine freaks. Meth’s super- caffeinated beans are amplified by the addition of yerba mate, a powerful natural stimulant and antioxidant used by shamans of the Amazon for boosting stamina and mental clarity.
Boasting an intense buzz and cocoa-tobacco finish, Meth Coffee is fresh-roasted within 48 hours of shipment to jumpstart workaholics, thrill seekers, artists, and subversives seeking an exciting new fuel for their endeavors.
Now, I’m tagging this in the “Health, Conflict and Stress” category — caffeine affects us differently, and I’ll leave it up to you to decide where it fits in that category for you. Me, well, I adopted coffee as my drug of choice when I started law school, and, but for two or three very short flirtations with tea, I have never looked back.
Indeed, we are still digging out of a huge snowfall — something like 2 - 2 1/2 feet in Santa Fe over 3 days, right before New Year’s. When I heard it was coming, I took stock and ran to the store — coffee! I had everything else that was necessary — including my second most important indulgence, red wine — but, really, fresh ground coffee is #1.
Please note the new address: www.EngagingConflicts.com.
Please note the new address: www.EngagingConflicts.com.
In 2007, Engaging Conflicts will continue to center on issues identified by Bernie Mayer’s Beyond Neutrality: Confronting the Crisis in Conflict Resolution, Chris Honeyman’s Theory to Practice work (focusing on his new book, The Negotiator’s Fieldbook: the Desk Reference for the Experienced Negotiator, co-edited with Andrea Kupfer Schneider), and the October 2006 Keystone Consolidating Our Collective Wisdom conference; as well as my Wikis and Podcasts and Blogs, Oh My! program – use of the new social media on the internet for professional, personal and business development. I’ll provide Tips, Treats, and Tools, and talk about Health, Conflict and Stress, on occasion, too.
Some Guest Bloggers In 2007
Planned guest bloggers for 2007 include Kristine Paranica, J.D., Administrative Director and Fellow of the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation (ISCT) on transformative mediation and practice; and John Lande, J.D., Director of the Master of Laws Program In Dispute Resolution at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, on cooperative law, as distinguished from collaborative law.
In Engaging Conflicts Today, the newsletter (subscribe by clicking in the sidebar!), I’ve planned interviews with Bernie Mayer, John Paul Lederach, Robert Benjamin, Chris Honeyman, Janis Magnuson (of Janis Publications), Diane Levin (of the Online Guide To Mediation blog), Jack Cooley, John Stephens, Ann Gosline, and Howard Gadlin, among others. And, as I said, The Negotiator’s Fieldbook, Chris Honeyman’s and Andrea Kupfer Schneider’s new book, will also be highlighted in 2007 (in both the newsletter and in the blog), with reviews, summaries and interviews.
At the new site, you’ll see the administrative categories tabbed across the topbar (Welcome, Contact, Why Engaging Conflicts?, Guest Bloggers, RSS FAQ). The first box at the top of the right sidebar lets you search the blog using keywords. You can then bookmark the blog at Technorati (use the green icon); subscribe to the blog for free at FeedBurner (use the orange icon); and then subscribe to Engaging Conflicts Today by clicking on the blue hyperlinked “Free Engaging Conflicts Newsletter!” I have fewer categories. Also, each post now allows linking with 13 different social content and social bookmarking websites, e.g., del.icio.us, digg and smarking. (If you don’t know what any of these terms and options are, spend some time in the Wikis and Podcasts and Blogs, Oh My! category!) Finally, I’ve disabled commenting, to help save the site from robotic spamming – write me privately, and I’ll respond, though.
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REMEMBER: Please move your bookmark, and — try something new! — subscribe to Engaging Conflicts! If you’d like to learn more about RSS or web feeds from a podcast or blog consumer’s point of view, visit our RSS FAQ.