Evan Ash has been a domestic mediator in Kansas’s Tenth Judicial District since 1995, and serves as the supervisor for its clinical mediation programs. His mediating experience began informally as a chaplain, and later with the Wichita Neighborhood Justice Center. He has taught mediation courses at Johnson County Community College and Missouri Western State University. He is Past President of the Heartland Mediators Association and a member of the Standards/Ethics Sub-Committee of the Kansas Office of Judicial Administration’s Dispute Resolution Advisory Council. He is an "Advanced Practitioner" of the Association for Conflict Resolution. He holds masters degrees from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary and the University of Nebraska. As an Episcopal Priest, he has served parishes and institutions in Nebraska, Oregon, and Kansas.
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Articles and Video:
The Paradox of Creativity with Compassion in Mediation
Turn the other cheek, give more than is required, respond to the need of another person, all these when you may be faced with pain and loss. Do crazy things like love your enemy, pray for them? The great mystery is the power that comes from the paradoxes of life.
Adding Discussion of Issues to Mediation: Lessons from Consensus Building
A model for consensus building can be a way to understand the value of interjecting issue discussion into the classic mediation format.
The Temple of Hope : A Parable for Mediators
Sometimes a parable can say more about something in a few words and bring more clarity and understanding than an academic explanation. I had an occasion to conduct a refresher course on the basics for a group of university workplace volunteer mediators. Such a parable became the foundation for this discussion. I expressed it both verbally and visually: mediation is like a temple.
Attention World: Frustration Does Not Equal Dispute!
Recently one of my mediation students gave me a powerful insight about disputes and what they are not! The example of this student’s belief made me aware of a dynamic that is too often revealed in every level of modern life. It is based on our assumptions about the meaning of our needs and how the world should respond to them.
Mentoring and Evaluating New Mediators
In spite of our best intentions, we all have to start somewhere! For an experienced professional who would like to become a mediator, classroom training may seem like the only beginning needed to become effective. However, wiser more seasoned heads have prevailed in the dispute resolution field. It is widely recognized that some degree of supervised practical or clinical training is needed.
“Posture vs. Position”
More than positions, the new mediator needs to assess the “posture” of the parties. This tells the mediator more about how the parties experience, understand, and approach the conflict than the discussion of ideas will allow. The “posture” of each party reflects their attitude, style, and treatment of the issues.
Mediation and the Art of Motorcycle Riding
I recently completed a motorcycle rider course at a local community college. My experience gave me some added benefits. It allowed me to have a powerful opportunity to live what my mediation students encounter in their training. This article shares those lessons with other mediation coaches, mentors, teachers, and supervisors. My hope is that through this learning, we can "raise the bar" on the quality and proficiency of the members of our profession placed in our tutelage.