2015 SCMA-AIM ADVANCED TRACK
Again this year Southern California Mediation Association (SCMA) and the American Institute of Mediation (AIM) have teamed up to offer an Advanced Track at the SCMA Annual Conference for mediators who have mediated 250 cases or have 5 years mediation experience. Co-sponsoring this track with AIM, and limiting participants to only those with significant mediation experience, allows us to provide sessions that cater to the unique needs of advanced mediators and address those challenges with which seasoned mediator wrestle day in and day out in their practice. This track will appeal to the most experienced mediators because they deal with dilemmas that need to be managed, rather than more simple problems for which there is a solution. And this year more than ever, we are focused on adding new skills to the already overflowing tool box of the advanced mediator, with a special focus on helping you out of any rut you may be in or plateau you may have landed on, all while avoiding our own conflict burnout. Please join us for the latest work from Lee Jay Berman, Ken Cloke, Doug Noll, and Michelle Dickson, as they try to help us all become what the AIM Institute calls more “complete mediators”.
Southern California’s economy is rapidly changing to add a growing number of businesses in need of mediation and facilitation between principals, including start-ups, venture capital and private equity-backed business, and the already robust platform of constantly transitioning family businesses. In addition, large organizations, from corporations to non-profits to educational and hospital entities are continuing to increase their use of mediators to resolve disputes and repair relationships. In litigated cases, the delivery of mediation in southern California has become increasing litigator-driven, with disappearing joint sessions, more aggressive negotiation styles between counsel, and more combative communication between mediator and counsel. One solution to this trend is to empower mediators with the tools to connect more deeply with the people in front of them, to speak to a different part of themselves, and to remain in a state of curiosity and inquiry with a goal of understanding, as opposed to a goal of advocacy. The last risk is that mediators themselves can become argumentative in playing the role of devil’s advocate in the face of oppositional and combative counsel, making it more important than ever for mediators to know how to slide from coaching into mediating and into interviewing and interrogation. While each of these skill sets can have an appropriate place in conflict resolution, we must foster our own acute self-awareness, and become skilled at shifting strategically between these different styles. It is with all of these challenges in mind that we built this year’s SCMA-AIM Advanced Track for the 2015 SCMA Annual Conference.
Session One (10:15am – 11:45am)
Mediating the Non-Litigated Dispute with Doug Noll
This workshop focuses on the specific skills required to add the mediation of non-litigated disputes to your practice, especially if your focus has been on mediating litigated cases. Doug will lead us through the ways in which this style of mediation differs from mediating with represented parties, including how to conduct critical pre-work and diagnostic services, secrets of convening when it’s purely voluntary, how to decide who should attend, structuring the process to match the dispute, creating the agenda, facilitating the communication, using a lot of joint session and interest-based negotiation processes, working on agreements, and how to market, price, bid, and bill for these services. Non-litigated disputes discussed may include mediating complex business disputes, family business disputes, business separations, conducting strategic facilitations between potential corporate partners, and facilitating complex construction “partnering” sessions. At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to build or expand their practice beyond the litigated case and/or utilize these advanced strategies in integrative problem-solving for their work in litigated cases and other applications.
Doug Noll is a full time peacemaker and mediator, specializing in difficult, complex, and intractable conflicts. He is an adjunct professor of law and has a Masters Degree in Peacemaking and Conflict Studies. Mr. Noll is AV-rated and was a business and commercial trial lawyer for 22 years before turning to peacemaking. He is also a Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators, a Fellow of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators and on the American Arbitration Association panel of mediators and arbitrators. Noll is an author of three books, including Elusive Peace, Sex, Politics & Religion at the Office: The New Competitive Advantage, with John Boogaert, and Peacemaking: Practicing at the Intersection of Law and Human Conflict. Mr. Noll is also the host of the radio show The Doug Noll Show that streams live on wsRadio.com Thursday evenings at 7 pm Pacific.
Session Two (1:00pm – 2:30pm)
The Heart of Mediation – The Art of Asking Questions with Ken Cloke
Adversarial approaches to conflict stress our bodies, close our minds, magnify our negative emotions, weaken our spirits, silence our hearts and undermine our capacity for honest, empathetic communications and satisfying relationships. Worse, they divide us — not only from each other, but from internal parts of ourselves, and cause us to learn little or nothing other than how right we were. Through questions, it is possible to discover, in the thick of discord, how to free ourselves from its all-consuming grip, how to gain insight into what got us stuck, transform the ways we interact with our opponents, turn criticisms and complaints into openings for improvement, and evolve to higher levels of skill in conflict resolution. Through skillful questions we can begin to move into the heart of conflict and initiate open, honest, vulnerable conversations that allow people to work through their conflicts, where resolution, transformation and transcendence suddenly, inexplicably, exquisitely unfold. This workshop will focus on learning to mediate from a place of curiosity, compassion and inquiry, rather than judgment, advocacy and control. It will provide hundreds of questions to shift conversations, broaden perspectives, refocus priorities and engage the hearts of people in conflict. It will help mediators design dialogues that disputant’s attitudes, focus and awareness, and permit us to work more deeply, yielding better answers, but also richer experiences, both for participants and mediators.
Kenneth Clokeis Director of the Center for Dispute Resolution and a mediator, arbitrator, attorney, coach, consultant, and trainer, specializing in communication, negotiation, and resolving complex multi-party conflicts, including community, grievance and workplace disputes, collective bargaining negotiations, organizational and school conflicts, sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits, and public policy disputes, and in designing preventative conflict resolution systems for organizations. He has done work in conflict resolution in Austria, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, China, Cuba, England, Georgia, India, Ireland, Japan, Latin America, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Thailand, Ukraine, the former USSR, United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe. Mr. Cloke is President and co-founder of Mediators Beyond Borders. He is a nationally recognized speaker and a prolific author of many journal articles and books, including Mediation: Revenge and the Magic of Forgiveness; Mediating Dangerously: The Frontiers of Conflict Resolution; The Crossroads of Conflict: A Journey into the Heart of Dispute Resolution; and Conflict Revolution: Mediating Evil, War, Injustice, and Terrorism. He is co-author with Joan Goldsmith of several books, including Resolving Conflicts at Work: 8 Strategies for Everyone on the Job (2nd Edition), and The Art of Waking People Up: Cultivating Awareness and Authenticity at Work.
Session Three (2:45pm – 4:00pm)
Are you an Interrogator, a Mediator, or a Coach? with Michelle Dickson
Michelle Dickson used her Masters in Applied Linguistics and her Top Secret military intelligence clearance in the Army and with a private contractor in Iraq to supervise interrogations and handle over 10,000 military intelligence reports, and was sole trainer responsible for the largest Multi-National Division in Iraq: 16 major bases covering 5 divisions. After a lot more training and management experience in the US and Germany, she took that experience into claims adjusting with Safeco Insurance, went on to get her Masters in Dispute Resolution at SMU and became a certified mediator in Texas, and now runs a team of executive coaches at Liberty Mutual Insurance. Based on her experience in each of these fields, she believes that interrogation fits comfortably into a conflict management model and that there are shared skills and attributes between interrogation, executive coaching, and mediation. It is up to us as mediators how we choose to implement those skills. Michelle will share her journey from interrogator to mediator/coach and the questions she asks herself regularly to determine in what role she is engaged. Then you can decide…are you an interrogator or mediator?
Michelle Dickson is an internal Executive Coach with a Fortune 100 company and leads a team of coaches across 5 states. Her coaching focuses primarily on mindset and behavior changes for effective leadership. Michelle’s background is an unusual combination of experiences ranging from Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine to Federal Grant Writer for the Texas Education Agency, to Arabic Interrogator in the US Army. Michelle served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and received the Knowlton Award for significant contributions in Military Intelligence. After her service, as a civilian, she developed advanced interrogation courses for the DoD. The link in every step has been her passion for communication. She has Master’s degrees is in Applied Theoretical Linguistics from LSU and Dispute Resolution & Conflict Management from SMU. Michelle is a certified Conflict Management Coach, Executive Coach, and Mediator.