Articles and Video:
We must first recognize our error before we can make things right. While never easy, it is even harder when such recognition requires a public acknowledgement—an apology—to those we have injured. A true apology requires a great deal of humility and includes a sincere expression of regret, changed behavior and, when possible, restitution. 3 Comments
Gender and Culture Communication Differences (09/14/12)
In my seminars on interpersonal negotiation skills, communication, conflict management and mediation skills, we often speak about cultural and gender differences. Do Hispanics really make less eye contact than non-Hispanics? Do men or women expect or require more eye contact as a general rule? Do men touch women more than women touch men in casual conversation? Proxemics (personal space), haptics (touch), and kinesics (body and face) are names given for studies in these topics that attempt to answer such questions.
Reducing Defensiveness - Video (07/03/12)
This presentation introduces four specific steps for effectively transforming even the most provocative personal attacks into something constructive. Listeners may wish to also read Chapter 4 of Party-Directed Mediation, Interpersonal Negotiation Skills. April 2012, Duration: about 10 minutes plus homework.
Receiving Criticism Without Defensiveness (05/29/12)
There are untold ways that people show disapproval. Some may raise their voices, others roll their eyes, and yet others use sarcasm. From bouts of anger to withdrawal and pouting, this list is indeed long. How do we react when we are the object of someone’s reproach? Do we become defensive? I would venture to say that we are most likely to feel self-protective when the person who is showing his or her disapprobation is someone we care about. 2 Comments
Free Book on Workplace Mediation as Public Service by the University of California (10/31/11)
Mediators, human resource managers and other interested individuals may obtain a free copy of the 321 page book Party-Directed Mediation by Gregorio Billikopf. The focus of the publication is on the mediation of deep-seated interpersonal conflict, so the book may also be of interest to attorneys and therapists. 1 Comment
From Gregorio Billikopf (08/30/07)
Mediate.com is the GO-TO place for mediators to exchange ideas and make contributions.
Empathic Listening: Listening First Aid (10/24/05)
Effective listening skills can help a person who is suffering from deep emotional wounds, or involved in a serious interpersonal conflict, to vent. Listening skills, on the part of a helper, permit such a person to think more clearly and be more receptive to outside input. 4 Comments
Party-Directed Mediation: Pre-Caucus Empowers Party-Directed Joint Session (11/29/04)
In this article, Billikopf and Linden talk about Party-Directed Mediation, give examples of where the technique is used, discuss the types of cases that seem to be most amenable to the use of this approach, and finally, discuss where the style can be of greater use to mediators. 3 Comments
Contributions of Caucusing and Pre-Caucusing to Mediation (01/20/03)
The author argues that pre-caucusing—a separate meeting between the mediator and each of the stakeholders before they are ever brought together into a joint session—can not only overcome many of the negatives often associated with caucusing, but has the potential of becoming a pillar of conflict management. Pre-caucusing affords stakeholders the opportunity to vent and be heard at a critical time in the mediation process, when it can reduce defensiveness and increase creativity. Once in the joint session, stakeholders communicate with each other with less mediator interference. 2 Comments
Cultural Differences? (06/18/01)
Here is an attempt to sort out a couple of thoughts on cultural differences. My perspective is that of a foreign born-and-raised Hispanic who has now lived over two decades in the United States and has had much opportunity for international travel and exchange. 2 Comments