Journal Entry: Mediation Chapter 5

This chapter talks about the when and how of using the basic tools we learned about in Ch. 4. (p. 99) One question to keep in mind: “What do I want to accomplish, or what do I hope will happen, at this point in mediation?” (p. 100)

The concept of the goal triangle is introduced, in which we see the cooperative goals of building empowerment and recognition, building community consciousness, and building commitment. By engaging in mediation, we are perfectly enabled to meet these goals, whereas in other forms of dispute resolution, such as judicial proceedings, these goals are unrecognized and possibly unattainable. For instance if we are given a judgment against us, we may not feel particularly committed to it, but are coerced to follow the orders of the judgment. In transformative mediation, we collaboratively develop solutions and listen to others’ ideas for solution (empowerment and recognition), which potentially makes it easier to commit to them, because they are our collective solutions which benefit the disputants as well as others, potentially (community consciousness); the solutions are ours, and thus we own them (providing an easy path to commitment) (pp. 100-104).

In a section about appreciation, we are reminded to have disputants remember and try to celebrate what makes them interdependent: What is your best vision for the future? What would the situation be like without your differences? (pp. 104-105)

Co-mediation is discussed as beneficial in complex cases, cases where there is a lack of experience with mediation in one of the mediators, high tension disputes, longer sessions, etc. However, co-mediation can introduce problems as well, such as increased costs, and the potential for divergent mediation style (pp. 105-107).

The chapter then goes on to explore issues of diversity and cultural awareness. It suggests the following techniques for meeting diverse cultural needs in mediation. Expect different expectations, don’t assume understanding, listen carefully, seek ways to allow parties to appreciate each other, be patient, go for win/win solutions, do things differently. By keeping an open mind and watching for culturally influenced reactions, mediators can avoid potential new conflicts within mediation (pp. 108-114).

Finally, we are introduced to the LARC Model, which is a mnemonic acronym for listen, acknowledge, respond, commit. Figure 5.2 on page 116 describes the finer points of the LARC model, such as asking questions to clarify as part of the listen directive, and suggesting positive resources for change as part of the respond directive (pp. 114-116).

Domenici, K., Domenici-Littlejohn, & Littlejohn, S. W. (2001). Mediation: Empowerment in Conflict Management, Second Edition. (2nd), 198. Waveland Press.

Personal experiential influence:

I really enjoyed learning about the mediation Goal Triangle, in which we as mediators work on building empowerment and recognition between disputants, building community consciousness through the mediation process, and building commitment in the disputants, or rather helping them to build it themselves.

I think that building empowerment is mostly accomplished by allowing disputants to use their own voice to address the issues, rather than having the stroy told thorugh representatives, like in a legal proceeding.

I think that building recognition is accomplished by mandating active listening as part of the mediation process – what better way to get disputants to hear the others point of view than to require silent active listening and single speakers?

Community consciousness is almost a byproduct of mediation itself – if disputants find success in dealing with the conflict through mediation, they may take those newly found skills out into the world where they can begin to virally infect other conflictors with active listening, collaborative problem solving, and conflict as opportunity.

Because disputants use their own words, and agree throughout with reframed ideas, restatements, and respectful language, it is more likely than other forms of dispute resolution in gaining true commitment.

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One Response to Journal Entry: Mediation Chapter 5

  1. Val Rocha says:

    I am Val from Elos Institute. We are a Non Governmental Organization in Brazil, and more them that, a community of friends that gathered together to work for a better world.

    We believe a better world is to be built by many of us rather than for a few of us. We have been working with local communities for the last 10 years. Our emphasis is in building solutions collectively.
    I’ve got to know about your work, and I felt really connected to the concept. I am now writing you to share something very close to my heart: the program Warriors Without Weapons. The program is designed to youth entrepreneur who are willing to change the world right now, have plans and ideas and are willing to implement them not by themselves but together with the community they are part of.
    The application process was launched last week, and I would like to ask for your support disseminating the program among youth who are committed with the change. Please take a look at the blog: http://www.warriorswithoutweapons.net , watch the video and if by any chance our message touches your heart, forward the message to your contact list.
    Our deadline to receive applications is August 14, but, we would like to reinforce that we are willing to postpone the dates for application for European and African countries, due to the difficult to promote the program in those places in time.
    Hope to hear from you soon.
    Sincerely yours,
    Val Rocha

    Here bellow you’ll find the content of the official invitation for the program.

    Hello! Do you want to change the world?

    We are taking applications for the 2009 Warriors Without Weapons program. The program will gather youth from different countries that are willing to roll up their sleeves and really make a better world.

    After 30 days working collectively with a local community, they will come back home with knowledge and experience to start to promote change in their local realities.

    In 2009 the program will take place in Santos, Brazil from January 5 to February 5.

    Do you want to know more about the program? Visit our blog at http://www.warriorswithoutweapons.net to learn how to participate.

    Please, do you know someone who wants to change the world?

    If you think this is a good way and have people in mind to participate. Would you send this invitation to them?

    Thank you so much for your help!

    People from Elos: André, Cláudio, Edgard, Mariana, Mila, Natasha, Rodrigo Rubido, Rodrigo Alvarez, Thaís e Val.

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