Bringing Peace into the Room: How the Personal Qualities of the Mediator Impact the Process of Conflict Resolution

Bringing Peace into the Room: How the Personal Qualities of the Mediator Impact the Process of Conflict Resolution

Bringing Peace into the Room: How the Personal Qualities of the Mediator Impact the Process of Conflict Resolution

Bringing Peace into the Room: How the Personal Qualities of the Mediator Impact the Process of Conflict Resolution

Synopsis

Bringing Peace Into the Room examines the personal qualities that make a mediator effective. The eminent authors of this volume go beyond traditional descriptions of academic training, theoretical orientation, and refinement of technique to confront issues related to personal temperament and the crucial psychological, intellectual and spiritual qualities of the mediation professional- qualities that are often the most potent elements of successful mediation. In this comprehensive resource, Daniel Bowling and David Hoffman bring together a stellar panel of practitioners, academics, teachers, and trainers in the field- Michele LeBaron, Kenneth Cloke, Robert Benjamin, Don Saposnek, Sara Cobb, Peter Adler, Jonathan Reitman, Lois Gold, Marvin Johnson, and others- ?who share their personal experiences as mediators. Each contributor demonstrates that at the very heart of conflict resolution is the subtle interaction between the parties and the mediator's personal and authentic style.

Excerpt

This book originated with a shared inquiry about what makes us effective, or ineffective, as mediators. The two of us had come to dispute resolution as a career and a calling—an opportunity to make the world a better place. We had begun to realize how much our ability to influence the parties to a dispute in a positive way depended on the personal qualities we brought with us into the room. We also began to realize that those qualities have certain changeable dimensions and others not-so-easily changeable— something like a landscape that one views at dawn, with colors that may vary from day to day or minute to minute but an overall shape that is slow to change.

Each of us sought in our own way to understand what qualities of being as opposed to doing were influential in mediation. We were trying to look beyond the skills training each of us had pursued to find those qualities of heart and spirit that, on our best days, helped us open doors to peaceful resolution.

Our inquiry began during our work together on a complex, multiparty conflict involving approximately two hundred claims, arising within a spiritual community founded in the early 1970s. The conflict erupted over charges of serious, repeated sexual abuse and abuse of power by the community's spiritual leader. This mixture of sexual and spiritual abuse creates thermonuclear conflict. As we . . .

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