Stay up to date on everything mediation!

Subscribe to our free newsletter,
"This Week in Mediation"

Sign Up Now

Already subscribed No subscription today
<xTITLE>What was your first time like? (your first mediation, that is)</xTITLE>

What was your first time like? (your first mediation, that is)

by Diane J. Levin

From Mediation Channel

Diane J. Levin

Discovering mediation that first timeAttorney Nancy Hudgins, who shares the wisdom won from her experience mediating thousands of disputes in her blog Civil Negotiation and Mediation, today describes her first mediation. It’s a story, wonderfully told, about discoveries — how one party discovers empowerment, another closure, and a mediator discovers the quiet satisfaction in helping others help themselves.

It made me wonder how many other first-time stories await their telling.

While Nancy’s story stands in part for the hope mediation restores to parties, my own first mediation resembled more closely Geoff Sharp’s “The Extra Mile“.

I got my start in community mediation, and believe me, there is no tougher initiation into the trenches of conflict. Here you gird yourself for the escalating battle between neighbors over boundary lines and unleashed dogs, or the full-scale war of feuding teens in a public housing project. Fought in deadly earnest, these disputes emit a lethal heat.

My first mediation involved a dispute in which one of the parties was a woman with profound physical disabilities. The medical attendant who was supposed to arrive failed to show up for the mediation. During a break, the woman asked my co-mediator and me for assistance in the bathroom; we helped her empty her urostomy bag.

Although time has blurred the other details of that day, I remember one thing vividly. That experience revealed something no mediation training prepared me for — not the corrosiveness of anger or the frustration of tears — but instead, despite the hardship and indignities that daily life inflicts, the courage that inhabits the human heart.

Fellow mediators, what was your first time like?

Biography


Diane Levin, J.D., is a mediator, dispute resolution trainer, negotiation coach, writer, and lawyer based in Marblehead, Massachusetts, who has instructed people from around the world in the art of talking it out. Since 1995 she has helped clients resolve disputes involving tort, employment, business, estate, family, and real property issues, and serves on numerous mediation panels, including the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Training and coaching are an enduring passion -- she has taught thousands of people to resolve conflict, negotiate better, or become mediators -- from Croatian judges to Fortune 500 executives.

 

A geek at heart, Levin consults on web design and social media to professionals.  She blogs about ADR at the intersection of law, science, and popular culture at the award-winning MediationChannel.com, regarded as one of the world's top ADR blogs.  She also tracks and catalogues ADR blogs world-wide at ADRblogs.com, where she has created a community for bloggers writing about constructive ways to resolve disputes.

 

web site: http://dianelevin.com



Email Author
Author Website

Additional articles by Diane J. Levin