Many attempts have been made to link theory to practice, yet mediation, particularly in the context of litigated cases, stubbornly defies scientific evaluation’s; That explains why I expected to dislike Debbie De Girolamo’s treatise, The Fugitive Identity of Mediation: Negotiations, Shift Changes and Allusionary Action.
Yesterday was an interesting day for me. I spent the day in a training for a Personnel Commission for which I have served as a Hearing Officer for over a decade. At its conclusion, a very young female participant in the training took me aside and complemented me for being a “bad ass” woman whom she hoped to emulate in her burgeoning career.
Mediation can be hard. Often, the parties start out a great distance apart, work towards narrowing the gap, but occasionally can’t quite straddle the gulf to come to an agreement in a single day. Last week, I gave my final lesson to my students at Pepperdine on sophisticated steps for breaking an impasse. I told them that it was a matter of both skill and faith.
In every conflict, and during every mediation, each disputant has an option of dwelling upon the misery of the past, or focusing upon the good that has come from ending the conflict and looking towards better days ahead. For me, Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to remind ourselves that gratitude is an attitude.