Lessons in
Lifemanship

by

Bryan Bell

- Chapter 20 -

SETTLING DISPUTES
USING A MEDIATOR

Though it is best to use every skill and resource possible to avoid controversies, unfortunately disputes do arise which become difficult to settle.  Here is a procedure which can be very helpful. mediation mediator mediate mediating avoid avoiding solve personal family friend problem solving business partnership disagreement

Frequently two people who are disagreeing go to a third person for help.  If the two people agree in advance that the third person may issue a judgment which they must follow it is called arbitration.  When the third person acts as an intermediary to help the individuals find a solution which they must both agree upon to go into effect it is called mediation.  It may not be just individuals involved but organizations, or, especially in law, corporations.

More than 40 states now encourage or require people involved in civil lawsuits to try to settle their differences before going to trial.  This has been particularly effective in family conflicts involving divorce and child custody.  It is not surprising to learn that there are 2,500 members of the American Academy of Family Mediators.  When each side is represented by an attorney, there is a tendency for antagonisms and emotions to be stimulated as each attorney, based on the training that lawyers get, is fighting to get his or her client the best deal possible, and quite frequently saying, "Don't accept that; we can beat them in court."

An effective mediation procedure is to get each side to agree that the past is past and that there is no value, in this process, of trying to allocate blame.  The concentration is on reaching the best solutions possible for each of them, and in the case of child custody that they both should agree that their goal is to do what is best for the child.  It is appropriate for the Mediator to ask, "Is that really what would be best for Susan?"

If the contestants agree, they can sign a legal document of commitment which substitutes for a court case, saving the expense and emotion of a trial.  Of course, the Judges are eager to encourage such procedures because the courts are choked with overload.  Amazingly enough, such agreements can usually be reached in six sessions, and some Mediators can boast of an 85% success ratio.

Sometimes it is difficult to prevent disputes from arising about the past and back-and-forth barbs from taking place, but a skilled Mediator can overcome these.  I witnessed a mock mediation, conducted by one of the most successful practitioners in our city, which obviously drew on some realistic cases.  At one point she jumped up and said, "Look, I used to teach kindergarten and I know how to stop childish behavior.  Let's get back to discussing Susan."

Mediation can be used every bit as effectively in solving personal or group disputes.  I helped mediate a dispute a number of years ago in our city.  The United Way and the Salvation Army were locked in what it is no exaggeration to call a big fight.  It does seem incredible that two such organizations, both devoted to the welfare of people, could be involved in such a heated disagreement.  The amusing thing is that the people on the two boards were very much alike, and you could even have swapped the two and had equal representation.  The trouble was, as is usually the case, the two sides were not talking to each other.  Both boards met behind doors and indulged in emotional statements.

I invited the key person from the United Way to lunch to tell me about the problem.  He was delighted to have someone listen to him, and he unloaded.  I just listened.  I didn't agree or disagree.  I made proper responses to indicate that I was vitally interested, such as, "I can understand how you felt." or "That's surprising."  I asked if I could take notes, and this pleased him.

My next move was to invite a couple of savvy men I knew on the Salvation Army Board to lunch.  I listened to a similar litany of complaints.  I asked them if they knew that their monthly budget which is required to be submitted to the United Way was always late and was the last to come in every month.  "No, we didn't know that.  Why weren't we told?"  There followed the exchange of a few more items of information between the two organizations.

The effect was immediate.  The next month the Salvation Army's budget was the first to arrive, and was on time from then on.  After a few other adjustments, not major, and some changes in attitude, the problem disappeared.  What amused me was that when it was all over, each organization felt I had been on its side.  I was not on anybody's side.  I just listened and exchanged information over the luncheon table.  We nipped the problem just in time because a media blast on the subject was impending.

Then, there is wisdom, on occasion, of friends or family members agreeing on a mediator to help solve a dispute.  As in all cases of mediation, it is helpful to emphasize that no one is bound by a decision.  Each side must agree.

I have been called in on several occasions when business partners were having a dispute.  The failure rate of business partnerships is very high.  Sometimes it is because of poor planning, or lack of capital, but most often it is because the partners cannot get along.  When there is a clear division of duties with skills to go along with the assignment, as would be the case if an engineer handles manufacturing and someone experienced in sales takes care of marketing, agreement is more likely.  But when partners, even very good friends, of similar interest and talents try to make decisions on the same matters, problems frequently arise, especially in times of trouble when emotions enter the picture.  This is when mediation help is needed.

Because of the problems of disagreements among children in the public schools, there has been a movement to teach "Conflict Resolution" which can turn into a valuable asset for life.  Suggested solutions are: 1.) Sharing, 2.) Taking turns, 3.) Compromising, 4.) Flipping a coin or spinning the bottle, 5.) Getting outside help (like a mediator), 6.) Dealing with it later when tempers cool down, 7.) Apologizing and asking forgiveness, 8.) Introducing humor and 9.) Resorting to Prayer.  Teaching these principles is being extended to other areas than public schools, although some prefer to call it "Peacemaking" rather than "Conflict Resolution".

These principles are not just for kids; we could all use them!

avoiding blame, blaming Avoiding controversies, solving personal and family problems, partnerships, disagreements with friends wise principles, mediation, solving business problems, arguments, appeals, agreements, antagonists, disagreements with family, friends, business controversey, avoiding controversy, intermediating, intermediary, divorce, child custody, children, solving confrontations, resolving disputes, business failure, conflict resolution, apologizing, apologising, apology, apologies, adversary, adversaries, accuse, accusing, accusations, confront, confronting, confronted,  appreciation, appreciating, forethought, restraint, restraining, self-restraint, wisdom, sharing, taking turns enmity, ill-will, ill will, bad will, bad-will
Chapter 19Chapter 19 Home Chapter 21Chapter 21
Chapters
1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22
23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41
Contents Table of
Contents
Acknowledgments Top Top
Lessons in Lifemanship - IndexIndex
The author would be most grateful
for your responses and comments.
About the author
About the Author

Permission is given to reproduce any or all parts of this book.
The author's wish is to share this with others
with the hope that it will be of help to as many people as possible.

Don't forget to bookmark this page!
Click 'Bookmarks', then 'Add Bookmark'
to bookmark this page.

If you would like a printed copy of this chapter, just click on the "Print this page" icon or your browser's "Print" button.  To print the entire book, just view each chapter in sequence and print it.

Links Webmasters,
If you like this site,
please link to it.
The author would really appreciate it!
If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?
Lessons in Lifemanship

If you like this book, you will also enjoy

An Infantry Platoon Leader in Patton's Army
by Bryan Bell

relationships, dependence, concern, benefit, life, living, Lifemanship, Experiences, Determination,  mutual dependence helpful advice
This site is best viewed with Netscape Communicator.
Download Netscape Now!   Download Netscape nowOrder Netscape on CD-ROM
Download Netscape Now!  or  Order Netscape on CD-ROM!
Be notified of page updates
it's private
powered by
ChangeDetection
Top 50 Christian Sites
Vote for this site!
Ultimate Top 50
Please Rate My Site:
Top 100 Great Christian Sites
Click here to vote for this page as a Starting Point Hot Site.
Click here to vote for this page as a pMonkey.com Hot Site.

relationships, concern, benefit, life, living, Lifemanship, Experiences, Determination,  mutual dependence

Labeled with ICRA
This website is protected by Wpoison  (Link for robots)
NetMechanicNetMechanic: Power Tools for Your Web Site

Family relationships, Childrearing, Parenting, children, parents Acknowledgement, acknowledgment Active listening two-way communication with children Bryan Bell, author Asking for good advice and help Lessons in Lifemanship awards Bryan Bell, Lessons in Lifemanship wise principles Improving board and committee meetings Psychology, self-help, motivation Avoid problems in family inheritance caused by sibling rivalries, greed, spouses and lawyers. Heir, heirship, taxes, tax, inheritance, estate, death, will, probate court Avoid controversies, solve personal and family problems Choose your battleground Solve problems, disputes and disagreements through mediation. Evaluating job applicants choosing volunteer and non-profit service Opportunities for serving on a board, non-profit service Improve relationship between parents and children Improving relationships with parents and children How to improve employee relationships! How to Improve Family Relationships Choose a vocation based on job market, ability, interests and temperament; avoid mistakes looking for a job; find satisfaction and enjoyment in your chosen vocation. The art of listening, how to listen more effectively! Listening more effectively! Relationships, family, children, self-improvement Improving personal relationships Popular psychology, self-help, self-improvement Improve family relationships Relationships and how to improve them Relationships in your family Improving relationships Relationships with children Sharing Success: succeeds, sucess, succeeding, successful, sucessful, win, winning, winners Guidance choosing vocations, job directions, vocational directions An Infantry Platoon Leader in Patton's Army Memoirs of a soldier in World War II An Infantry Platoon Leader in Patton's Army An Infantry Platoon Leader in Patton's Army An Infantry Platoon Leader in Patton's Army An Infantry Platoon Leader in Patton's Army An Infantry Platoon Leader in Patton's Army An Infantry Platoon Leader in Patton's Army An Infantry Platoon Leader in Patton's Army An Infantry Platoon Leader in Patton's Army An Infantry Platoon Leader in Patton's Army Bryan-Bell Bryan Bell enterpreneurship family disputes find a job info get a job info good job info good jobs good employees inheritance job hunting Lessons in Lifemanship Lessons in Lifemanship Lessons in Lifemanship resolve conflicts resolve disputes resolving conflicts resolving disputes Sam Hills, computer consultant CASS Certification saves postage Put your church on the World Wide Web Free stuff, freebies Interesting links bargains, deals Office supplies and computers Publish your book on the World Wide Web Sam Hills, computer consultant Legal disclaimer free money free money for me Saving postage with CASS Certification CASS Certification to reduce postage rates Piano lessons by Victoria Hills - First piano lesson free!
Web page design by Sam Hills  e-mail:
Tuesday, 19-Aug-2008 04:49:40 MST