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Seek First To Understand

by Jeff Thompson
March 2013

Enjoy Mediation Blog by Jeff Thompson

Jeff Thompson

Have a read of of the Werner Institute's latest blog post. It is by MS Candidate, Firas Alsalih. He shares his reflections on his first place finish the INADR.org mediation contest and some tips for mediators based on his experience.

I am glad to see rapport is mentioned and even happier to hear his professor at the Werner Institute, John Ford, teaches it, and the importance of building it, in his course.

Here's a snippet:

We often talk about “intuitive” abilities, and I even recall writing once in one of our online posts for the MS NDR program at Creighton, that the more you learn, the better stocked your “intuitive arsenal” is. I thus found myself applying skills that felt completely intuitive, although they are ones I only learned over the past 18 months, and were far from intuitive prior to entering the program.

...I also learned that as a general rule, the greatest contribution a mediator can make in resolving conflict is helping parties build rapport (thank you John Ford), and creating a safe, open and constructive environment where dialogue can take place, and where genuine rapport can indeed be built.

Read the entire post at the Werner Institute Blog [here].

Biography


Jeff Thompson, Ph.D., is a professor at Lipscomb University, researcher, mediator, and trainer. He is also involved in crisis and hostage negotiation as well as a law enforcement detective. His research includes law enforcement crisis and hostage negotiation in terrorist incidents. He received his doctorate from Griffith University Law School having researched the impact nonverbal communication has in conflict situations with respect to developing rapport, building trust, and displaying professionalism.

Dr. Thompson has presented and trained on the topic of conflict, mediation, (crisis and hostage) negotiation, communication and nonverbal communication internationally for a variety of audiences including police personnel, government officials, judges, attorneys, physicians, sales people, business professionals, and both graduate and undergraduate students. He has also been published in numerous professional and academic publications.

He is the co-chair of ACR's national Crisis Negotiation Section, and he is an ad-hoc reviewer for multiple academic journals. He received his MS in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from the Werner Institute, Creighton University School of Law.

(All posts by Jeff Thompson represent his personal reflections and opinions and not that of any organization.)



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