As my summer work break comes to an end, and I deliver yet another of my daughters to their home for the new term, I both savour the relaxation of the moment and look forward to an exciting fall of full-time private practice for the first time in 17 years! I have a number of exciting projects to launch, a few lingering ones (mostly papers) to finish, and a focused stretch of time in which to explore ideas that have been back-burnered for far too long.
I will be blogging here intermittently about topics of interest regarding conflict resolution, mediation and collaborative practice. My focus in this blog is on information that may be of interest to anyone looking to know more about the processes available to resolve disputes, ways to prevent conflict from arising, and approaches to facilitating and conducting collaborative conversations.
In this first post, I would simply like to share a few articles and stories that caught my interest over the summer months.
- “Tell her Capt. Johnson is sorry and he apologizes.” – It is always encouraging to read about the use of good conflict resolution skills, but all the more so in circumstances in which we are so very used to hearing unintentionally inflammatory approaches based in a belief that one can never admit to any wrongdoing without “losing” – whatever the situation. Capt. Johnson could teach any number of lawyers and litigants a lesson in listening.
- How can the justice system more effectively use mediation to enable SRLs to obtain fair resolution of their conflicts? – Kari Boyle provides a concise and insightful summary of ideas for making the justice system more accessible to self-represented litigants.
- Do it together: The remarkable changes a small group of lawyers can make with no money and no mandate – In addition to the well-deserved recognition this article gives to a few incredible BC lawyers, this article is an inspiring reminder that change is happening within the justice system. One could write a similar article noting the most significant changes in a number of other practice areas (certainly Small Claims, Child Protection and, increasingly, elder mediation to name a few) that have benefited from the determination of a few leaders from the dispute resolution community.
- Out of This World Collaboration – Ben Ziegler draws “astronaut lessons for collaboration” from his reading of Commander Chris Hadfield’s book. Great insights into what is wrong with relying on intuitive ideas about collaboration: intuitive ideas may unconsciously reflect learned norms regarding competing rather than collaborating.
You can find more of my thoughts on dispute resolution at CoRe Jolts where I focus on impasse-breaking and creativity for mediators.