Kristina Haymes

Kristina Haymes Kristina R. Haymes is a mediator of litigated and non-litigated cases.  She has successfully assisted parties in resolving employment, real estate, commercial and family business & estate disputes.


Contact Kristina Haymes

Website: www.kristinahaymes.com

Articles and Video:

Respect Your Power (06/30/08)
There we sat, within the confines of the Judge’s chambers, the beautiful library with mahogony shelves filled with law books surrounded us — the judge, my adversary, and the judge’s law clerk off to the corner. We had not been there more than seven minutes when the Judge, presuming to have gleaned enough information about the case to know how to quantify it, declared (although it purported to be a question): Do you want to know what I think this case should settle for? No...

In House Counsel's Viewpoint (06/17/08)
As a mediator or conflict resolution specialists who may work with in-house counsel in mediation, it is important to understand what in-house counsel is up against. When you understand the in-house attorney’s problems and situation, you can better serve him or her with your mediation and conflict resolution services. In this article, Avoid Quick Fixes and Control the True Cost of Litigation, Joseph F. Speelman contends that taking cases to trial will reduce a company’s...

ACR Call for Proposals 2008 Annual Conference (02/19/08)
Mediators and Conflict Managers: Now’s your chance to share your knowledge, research, and experiences with your peers. The Association of Conflict Resolution has announced the call for proposals for its 2008 Annual Conference in Austin, Texas. Researching and putting together a compelling presentation will help position you as an expert in your field. The leaders in a field are the ones who get paid the most, hired the most and get sought out for more opportunities. I just listened...

You are your brand (02/11/08)
In marketing a professional service, remember you are your brand. Interviews done by Jeff Kichaven and the research done by the MATA folks, reveal some of the qualities people look for in a mediator. I have posted about them before: Integrity — if you say that you will keep something in confidence, do not breach the trust placed in you. Optimism — mediators become valuable when the parties are at an impasse, if they could work out a solution on their own, they would not need...

What are you bringing to the table? (02/04/08)
I have had some aha moments again… As I’ve posted before here (Know Thy Mediator Self), I believe that greater self-awareness will make you a better mediator. Understanding your personality, motives, conflict style, what drives you will help you remove yourself from the table and insert yourself where appropriate (we bring our presence regardless but perhaps we can manage what we bring?). Ken Cloke talks about meditating before he begins any process to clear his mind and make...

Now it's official: Mediation is a 2008 Best Career (01/28/08)
U.S. News and World Report listed the top 31 “best careers” in December 2007 and “mediator” made the list. The “Mediator Executive Summary” lists what many of you know to be true: The problem is that there are more mediators than mediation jobs. In part, this is because the barriers to entry are so low—most mediators are required only to complete a 30-to-40-hour training course. The oversupply means that most mediators do not earn a middle-class income for ...

Market Research - where's the pain? (01/28/08)
Market Research is your friend. It may take time to begin gathering it, but everytime you see some, gather it, e.g. I linked to the research cited by the Boston Law Collaborative last week, here. Create a “market research” swipe file, print it out and begin collecting your nuggets. Why? Inertia. As a marketer of your professional service not only do you want to create great education based content, you want to persuade your potential clients to take action, e.g. hire a...

Do Mediators Actually Hire Mediators? (01/21/08)
I’ve heard some mediators complain that… other mediators they know refuse to hire a mediator when they are in conflict themselves. A sad state of affairs if you ask me. If you do not believe in what you are doing and the efficacy and value of the service — don’t do it. If you wouldn’t hire a mediator yourself, what business do you have mediating others’ disputes? Of course, I must confess I have not yet hired a mediator (I have been really close a few...

Does anyone *even* know you have a website? (01/14/08)
We could all drown in the buckets of information on the internet. I get overwhelmed sometimes just looking at the list of blogs in my RSS feed. I have stopped reading them all, I just don’t have time. We live in a time of information overload. Yet, more and more people will turn to the internet for help. How are you going to get noticed? This is particularly important if you market your service directly to consumers (e.g. divorce or family mediation). Google adwords and the rest...

Where Are All The Great Employment Mediators In New Jersey? (01/08/08)
It seems to be a mystery. I know a couple. I don’t want to start our new year conversation off on a bad foot. Heck, I’m still aglow with the wonderful possibilities of a new year. But, I have to tell you, there may be a reason why so many mediators struggle to make it. Let me share some excerpts from recent conversations I’ve had. Attorney: Who are the good employment mediators in New Jersey? This attorney has been practicing employment and labor law for over twenty...

2008: The Year To Begin Making A Difference (12/31/07)
Last year, I wrote that 2007 would be the year of video marketing. Indeed, no great prophesy there. We saw the explosion of You Tube and I saw a few mediators with video testimonials on their sites. Some law firms were using video. As we move into another year, this past year having been another grand adventure full of more trials than I wanted to endure. Yet, for everything there is a season. The second half of this year has been my season of grief. The entire year was my season of...

Rainmaking Teleseminar Recording Now Available (12/04/07)
Our October Teleseminar with Rainmaking consultant Ford Harding entitled, “So You Want To Become a Rainmaker” is now public. In this class we discussed two case studies of lawyers who significantly increased their book of business. In addition Ford discussed how to plan for and get the most out of an industry conference. The information is applicable to mediators, lawyers and other service professionals. quality=high bgcolor=#ffffff WIDTH="40" HEIGHT="40"...

Back To The Basics: Growing Your Business (11/27/07)
The principles are so simple. As Jay Abraham has said (and many have repeated), to grow your business you need to do one (or all) of the following: 1) Get more clients; 2) Increase the amount each client spends; and/or 3) Increase repeat business from existing clients. Many people recommend that you spend time on #3. The theory is that it’s easier to get people who already know you (and hopefully like you and trust you) to do business with you again in the future. This is certainly ...

Finishing What You Start (11/20/07)
One mistake many people make when they begin marketing their mediation or ADR practice is they dabble in marketing strategies. They might go to a networking function in their niche. They might write an article. They might make a couple calls but they don’t consistently stick with business development strategies over the long term. I have had the privilege to observe a couple of lawyers in my group who are proven Rainmakers go about their business of bringing in business. They...

Niche Marketing you say? (11/13/07)
I get really thrilled when people I know prepare a plan and then take the plunge into the mediation and arbitration ADR world. I am happy to announce, along with my other mediation bloggers, a great example of a couple of excellent niche practices that have just launched. Richard Webb has just launched the HealthCare Neutral ADR blog. Rich and I are both in New Jersey but we met in beautiful Malibu, California at an advanced mediation summer course at the Straus Institute of Dispute...

Following up with Leads (11/06/07)
A participant in the recent Rainmaking teleseminar with Ford Harding had the following question: What is the best way to follow up on a referral? I am a mediator. I will get calls for service and be asked for my CV. I will then be told by the lawyer that he/she will contact the other side and get back to me. I assume that there are other mediators under consideration. I am not shy to follow up once but am uncomfortable making more than one call on a particular matter. What is the best way to...

Women Rainmakers- breaking the glass ceiling (10/30/07)
Larry Bodine, a legal marketer, has a good article about what law firms can do to help women break the glass ceiling here. If you haven’t checked out Larry’s blog you can do that, here. If you work for yourself or work at a firm that is not receptive to providing the support as per above, you will have to take the initiative and take matters into your own hands. Larry’s got some good suggestions for getting started (business development mentors, speaking opportunities,...

What does it really take to build the dream? (10/30/07)
It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged about inner game stuff. You know, the game that takes place on the inside. One of my favorite subjects. I’m sure as mediators you understand on some level that our inner world creates our outer world. Well, what is true in one arena may be true in another. I was recently perusing a new book called, The Girls Guide To Creating A Million Dollar Business by Susan Wilson Solovic. Don’t worry boys there’s good stuff in there for ...

Flat Fee and Up-Front Pricing, Death to the Billable Hour (10/16/07)
The ABA Journal picked up an article originally published by the Boston Globe about a Boston area employment lawyer, Jay Shepherd, who has banned the billable hour in his law firm. Not surprisingly, Shepherd says revenue is up and his firm’s lawyers are more efficient. Many mediators have asked me, is it possible to offer flat fee mediations or offer up-front pricing? The answer is a resounding YES! The top of the mediation market is a flat fee of $10,000 per mediation. (There are...

Free Mediation Teleseminar Podcast! (10/08/07)
I am in a generous mood. In the spirit of carrying on my dad’s legacy (one of his main legacies was an incredibly generous spirit), I am happy to announce: Now, for a limited time, I’m going to provide you with the link to my Mediation TeleSeminar Podcasts here: http://podcast.thebasementventures.com/telcorecordings/podcast.rss?bridge=630700. Just copy this link into your itunes or other software to listen online or on your mp3 player. I can’t promise this link will be...

Playing Hard to Get? (10/01/07)
I am ever so slowly catching up on blog reading after my extended leave of absence. There have been some recent (ok stale for real time bloggers) posts from mediators about saying “no” to new business. One angle is that if you are not competent to do the work, you should say “no” so that you don’t ruin your professional reputation. Tammy Lenski posted about that here. The logic is that if you say yes to something that is out of your league, you will likely...

Showing Up (10/01/07)
One of the seasoned, successful mediators I had interviewed for the Mediation Business & Marketing Success System series of audio interviews told me that 90% of marketing is showing up. At the time, I thought the saying was quaint but had not yet really experienced the full effect of the words. Reading through Ford Harding’s book on Rainmaking I am reminded of the point because he also mentions it. Then, just today I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who runs her own ...

From Kristina Haymes (09/04/07)
Mediate.com was the first place on the internet I discovered when I begin thinking about a career as a mediator. Jim Melamed has created a dynamic site that assists mediators with articles, training information and other timely news. It also is the first site that many users discover when looking for a mediator or conflict resolver. The site continues to evolve and progress with blogs and more. Mediate.com has become a central ingredient in helping our profession grow and prosper. Congratulations on your fantastic innovative work, keep it going.

Business Coach: 5 Reasons Why I Have One (07/27/07)

Most people by now have heard about the booming coaching industry.

The questions a lot of people continue to ask is what can a coach do for me and my business?

Is it worth the expense? Will it really help me grow or manage my business better?

Great questions.

If you’ve never experienced the power and leverage of coaching, I encourage you to try it on for size.

In the past I’ve posted quotes from Jeff Kichaven, a successful commercial mediator in Los Angeles, CA, about his experiences with business coaching and why he has had the same coach for the past ten years!

When I first started my businesses I had a business coach for one-on-one coaching. This type of coaching can be excellent and it is more expensive.

I just joined a new Mastermind Coaching Group. Group coaching is a great alternative. In group coaching the cost is less but you get less one-on-one attention. However, if you are in a group with similarly situated people, e.g. small business owners or other mediators, lawyers or dispute resolution professionals, then you face many of the same issues. The point here is that you benefit from the coaching that occurs for the other group members.

In addition, group coaching is great because you have the opportunity to get input from not only the coach who facilitates and coaches each member but also the entire group! There are folks with years of knowledge and wisdom about different areas that can really help you.

The format may vary from group to group. The group I just joined meets over the phone twice per month for 90 minutes and the calls have the following format:

1) Round robin: everyone states in a sentence or two something positive that is going on in their life or business. This gets people focusing on the good things, positive events and also on being grateful. It also sets a positive tone for the call.

2) Coaching module: the coach does a short 5-10 minute presentation about some business building skill or (in the groups I do we do a section on the Mediation Business Mastery Model).

3) Individual coaching: Each group member has an opportunity to answer this question — How can we best serve you today? In other words is there some area that you need direction, ideas or are struggling with? How can the coach and the group help.

I find this process to be extremely valuable. Here’s the top 5 reasons why I have a business coach:

1. Insight. Just as we mediators provide much needed perspective for people embroiled in conflict (who are too close to the situation to be objective or have perspective), a coach provides me with much needed insight in my business. What area should I focus on? What opportunities for growth are there that I might not see or think of? What business building activity should I spend more time on?
Where are my blind spots, what am I not seeing?

2. Accountability. I am the first to admit that I do not actively do on a regular, consistent basis that which I know that I should (or forget the should), that I want to do. For example, I have been meaning to call a client and follow up (it was a family business dispute I mediated last year) and I need to have someone hold me accountable. Did you follow up? Email me when you do so we can cheer you on. Trust me, having someone to hold you accountable to follow through on the things you decide you want to do is well, nothing short of powerful.

I wish I could say that I have such dogged self-discipline that accountability is unnecessary but that, well, would be a lie.

3. Business Experience . Most business coaches have built businesses of their own. Not only do they study and continuously learn how to be a business whiz, they also have real life experiences. Experience is one of life’s greatest teachers. Marketing, business development, strategic planning these are all skills most business coaches have developed.

4. Support and encouragement. Mediation and being a solopreneur can be very isolating. I am a people person. I like working with people and I also enjoy being part of a “team.” A coach is an integral part of my team. Good coaches have a vested interest in the success of their coachees — in large part a coach’s success is connected with the success of those who are being coached.

5. Accelerated Business Growth. Last but certainly not least, a good coach and/or coaching group helps you to grow your business smarter and faster than you could ever do on your own. We all need valuable input from others, support, encouragment, accountability and a watchful eye can help prevent us from going down the wrong road and help you get back on track regardless of where you are at. Specific wisdom is imparted in these coaching groups.

I am very grateful that there are skilled coaches and resources available. I’ll write another post about how to find a good business coach. As with all services the quality of the product you get is very contingent upon the quality of the coach and the personality and experience fit. There definitely is no one size fits all.

More resources on business coaching to follow.

NEVER GIVE UP!
Your partner in the process,
Kristina

Making Marketing Business Development A Habit (07/23/07)
Monday is a great day to remember your priorities and what you want to accomplish for the week and in the year. I’m continuing with the theme that small changes over time can have a big impact on your life and business! Remember the post below where Ford Harding noted that all rainmakers have systems for generating new business? Decisions you make today can determine your destiny. In other words, your future is in large part determined by the choices and the habits that you form...

Prove it with Testimonials (07/23/07)
Imagine this scenario… A prospective client arrives at your website (either through a referral, internet search, on-line ad etc.). They look to see your bio, what you have to say in any articles or your blog, and any other pertinent information about you. Now, if this person came to you from a positive word of mouth referral, chances are they will need little “proof” that you are good. If not, they will be asking themselves, is this person any good? Can I trust that they...

Making Marketing Business Development A Habit (07/16/07)
Monday is a great day to remember your priorities and what you want to accomplish for the week and in the year. I’m continuing with the theme that small changes over time can have a big impact on your life and business! Remember the post below where Ford Harding noted that all rainmakers have systems for generating new business? Decisions you make today can determine your destiny. In other words, your future is in large part determined by the choices and the habits that you form...

Mentoring Mediators: fostering growth within the profession (07/02/07)
Last spring (2006) I had the privilege of attending a three day conference entitled, Master Thinkers Meet Master Practitioners, where the International Academy of Mediators met with various faculty at Harvard. It was an inspirational and stimulating series of meetings. During the conference, Harvard Law School had a special commemoration for Frank A.E. Sander. Frank Sander is considered by many to be the godfather of the modern ADR and mediation movement in this country. The IAM also had...

ACR Taskforce On Marketing Mediation (06/25/07)
The following report was provided by one of my mediation colleagues, Patrick Westerkamp. Thanks Pat! I look forward to seeing what ACR (Association of Conflict Resolution) and we mediators can do collectively to promote our profession. NEVER GIVE UP! Kristina Patrick R. Westerkamp Westerkamp ADR Services, LLC On June 20, 2007 more than 50 members of the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators were briefed on the Association for Conflict Resolution’s plans for a nation-wide...

Mediation Business: Are multiple streams of income possible? (06/18/07)
Thanks to fellow mediation bloggers Geoff Sharp (Mediator Blah Blah) and Dina Beach Lynch (Mediation Mensch), I’ve been thinking about multiple streams of income for mediators. Dina has mentioned she’s passionate about this topic and I have a lot of respect for Dina and I love her great energy. I am normally an optimist by nature and entrepreneurial… I do like the idea of multiple streams of income for mediators; and yet, I am a bit skeptical that it’s a worthwhile...

Do You Tell Parties in Conflict to Get a Lawyer? (05/28/07)
Here’s a situation… someone you know calls you up (it could be a friend of a friend, a neighbor, a referral or so forth), they know you are a lawyer and a mediator (sorry this scenario will not apply as much to mediators who are not also lawyers) and they have a conflict. They are calling you because they need help. They may have a legal claim but they definitely have a “conflict situation.” Do you tell them they must first go to a lawyer and understand what their...

Doing Mediation Marketing (04/30/07)
Successful business people know that marketing and business development is an essential skill you must develop if you are to succeed in the business world. Peter Drucker said that the two core activities of every successful business are 1) marketing and 2) innovation. Your mediation or conflict management practice is a business. So, how are you doing on your marketing? Notice I said doing. It doesn’t matter how much you read, or learn or know, (while these will help you work smarter) it ...

Cultivating Champions (04/09/07)
As promised, here is a follow up regarding one of the gems from our teleseminar last week with Jeff Krivis. Jeff spoke about business development and marketing a mediation practice. Quite frankly, there are things everyone must do (e.g. have a web site, a core base of articles or blog, a speaking presentation) to present a mediation or conflict resolution business. Then, in the short term and the long term, there are the things that bring in business that complement your core marketing...

April BOOK CLUB: William Ury (04/09/07)
I am pleased to announce that the book of the month for Kristina’s Mediation Book Club is The Power Of A Positive No (How To Say NO And Still Get To Yes)by William Ury (the coauthor of the NY Times bestseller Getting to Yes). I just received the book and have zipped through the first couple of chapters and I can say this one will help you in your marketing and business development, it will definitely help you at the mediation table in your dealings with the parties and in your coaching ...