Comments: On Finding Uncommon Ground

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Gaye , Auckland , NZ  gaye.greenwood@aut.ac.nz     12/01/09
Recognising different constructions of reality builds the bridge for a new way of thinking about the issues
Very good article exploration of differences leads to deeper understanding better communication and more enduring agreements. It provides an oportunity for change as people construct multiple realities that shift over time, we facilitate that shift. Recognition of differences and complexity during mediation builds the bridge for deeper more active listening and better understanding of different perspectives on the same problems..... transformation.

Gaye , Auckland , NZ  gaye.greenwood@aut.ac.nz     12/01/09
Recognising different constructions of reality builds the bridge for a new way of thinking about the issues
Very good article exploration of differences leads to deeper understanding better communication and more enduring agreements. It provides an oportunity for change as people construct multiple realities that shift over time, we facilitate that shift. Recognition of differences and complexity during mediation builds the bridge for deeper more active listening and better understanding of different perspectives on the same problems..... transformation.

Eva Zimet, Randolph VT  eva@contactmediation.com     09/16/09
peacemaker
Thanks for giving the entire profession of mediation another stepping stone. As you mentioned, even experienced mediators are apt to find themselves shying away from the more subtle shapes of conflict. Acknowledging and exploring the differences has proven, in my work too, most effective and constructive.

Antony Sendall, London, UK   09/09/09
A further (rather more flippant) comment
"we need to trust that our humanity is circular – move far enough in any direction and we cannot help but meet ourselves coming back round again." - It may be true that some aspects of humanity are circular, it does not apply to everything. In the words of the great Eddie Izzard "you can't reverse into cool, hip and groovy".

Marie , Covington KY   09/08/09
"we need to trust that our humanity is circular – move far enough in any direction and we cannot help but meet ourselves coming back round again." This is a wonderful way of encouraging mediators to take the time to allow clients to hear each other and understand the other's perspective. Such an approach results in a better understanding of the other's truths and leeds to more lasting understandings.

Antony Sendall, London, UK  antony@sendall.co.uk     09/03/09
On Finding Uncommon Ground
I agree that allowing the parties to express their differences and to display openly their 'uncommon ground' is often a very productive way forward. A little bit of 'venting' early in the process can go a long way towards making both parties appreciate at least the depth of feeling on each side and often alters the dynamic of the mediation very quickly.

Kristine , Grand Forks ND   09/02/09
Thank you for your insight. As a transformative mediator, I resonate with your description of conflict and the shortcomings of pushing and pulling for common ground; that the real work is in helping them work through their differences.

Steve , Federal Way wa   09/01/09
Great article Thanks
Thanks for pointing out the importance of clarifying the differences in positions and interests. Participants might be better served if they "discover" their own common ground once its clear where each is starting. Very refreshing. Thanks again