Comments: The ‘Thing with Feathers’ – The Roles of Hope and Optimism in Mediation

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robert  benjamin, portland or     04/19/06
an excellent article that usefully complements "Working Dogs and Conflict Mediators: Character Traits in Common." In the many interviews I have done, one of the most important traits exhibited by the best mediators, in addition to their systematic (analytical acumen, intuition (gut instinct), and sheer tenacity, is the sense of optimism, sometimes bordering on being flat out Pollyannish. They believe, despite all signs to the contrary, the dispute can be settled. Barbara Wilson does and excellent job of exploring Hope and Optimism.