Journal Entry New Directions Chapter 12


Personal Experiential Influence:

I found the idea of the recognizance of authority in mediation as counterproductive as a topic. I was especially conflicted (excuse the pun) about Twylen’s very well presented conversation topic on authority. I feel personally that authority is not necessarily attributed to either plaques, licenses, amount of books owned, length of time in position, or other external (extrinsic) indications of authority. I’ve found in that authority and expertise comes with experience and focused practice.
I know licensed drivers who should not drive, people in high titled authority who disgrace the position, and doctors who should not be in practice. In my opinion, the difference between a great practitioner of technology, for instance, is not the length of time that they have been a titled technologist, or a doctorate in technology, but rather what they’ve done in terms of development, discovery or practice regardless of the time that they’ve spent as a technologist.

It also seems to me that expertise and authority also has to do with the love attributed to craft by a practitioner. The presence provided for tasks at hand. If you do not love the work, or if you are not present in practice, your auhority and expertise are diminished.

Yes, when we walk into an office or other environment an it is full of books, diplomae, notes of thanks, and so on, we may be influenced to believe that the person in front of us is both experienced and of a certain authority. But if in the next ten minutes the discussion washes the diplomas from our thoughts and replaces them with feelings of doubt or even regret due to the way that the conversation has progressed, no amount of books with return the original superficial feeling of expertise and authority. Mediators are no different – the quality of their practice will most likely benefit most from a healthy regard (love) for the practice itself.

Moore, C. W. (1994). Mediator Communication and Influence in Conflict Management Interventions. In J. P. Folger & T. S. Jones (Eds.), New Directions in Mediation: Communication Research and Perspectives (pp. 209-221). Sage Publications, Inc.
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