After 40 years I ended active practice as a mediator. Now, I am engaged in writing, editing and mentoring.
My current project is Living Together, Separating, Divorcing: Surviving During a Pandemic, an ebook published on Amazon. Along with my publishing partners, Peter Nicholson and Fiona McAuslan, and with the collaboration of nearly 80 professionals from 10 countries, we have produced a book of advice and tips for families stressed by the impact of the coronavirus.
Recently, I published The Guide to Reflective Practice in Conflict Resolution, the first publication in the Practitioners Guide Series, a joint venture of the Association for Conflict Resolution and Rowman & Littlefield, was published in 2019. Susanne Terry and I are series co-editors. In connection with the book, I lead monthly reflective practice groups via video conference, present webinars on reflective practice, and created a video series, In Their Voices. These extended conversations are broadly connected to the principles of reflective practice such as learning from experience, applying theory to practice, importance of research, value of mentoring. Videos in this series may be viewed on my website: www.thereflectivepractitioner.com/videoconversations and on YouTube.
Peter, Fiona and I are also developing a series of books for people who are considering or in the process of separation and divorce. That series, Divorce and Separation: A Practical Guide to Making Smart Decisions, supported by the exceptional work of local editors, now includes editions for 5 states, with versions for 10 more states in process—eventually we will get to every state in America.
Contact Michael Lang
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Seeing the Future by Knowing the Past
As we gradually emerge from the dark cloud of the pandemic, conversations among mediators have shifted and we are now wondering whether we want to return to in person mediation, whether we will try a hybrid approach or whether we will continue to virtual mediation.
Online Mediation Training - Mentoring & Consultation Best Practices
The term “Mentor” been commonly used to include guide, champion, teacher, supervisor. Today because we inherited many traditions of mentoring practices, we continue to use the term broadly while also attempting to give it somewhat more definition in terms of mediation and related professional practices.
I am no good at making masks, so how can I pitch in during the pandemic?
Is there something more I could do, as part of the human community that might make a difference?
In Their Voices: Video with Joyce Oddison
This article shares a video of Michael Lang interviewing Joyce Oddison about how to stay resilient through difficult times.
Demonstrating Reflective Practice
Michael Lang describes an account where he was teaching reflective practice, a practice that enables mediators to be more aware of their own methods and why they are using them.
Why is This Mediation Different from All Other Mediations?
We wonder does the change in methods push us to let go of our models of practice in favor of “whatever gets the job done?”
Surviving the Pandemic - Advice from 74 Family Experts
In this outstanding collection of essays, there are tips for managing disagreements, guidelines for handling children’s needs, information about finances, and even a recipe for Quarantine Cookies.
Reflective Practice: In Their Voices Video Conversation Project
As I wrote "The Guide to Reflective Practice in Conflict Resolution," I wondered whether I could include the voices and perspectives of others — not simply through quotations and citations. I wanted more depth and detail. The result is this "In Their Voices Video Conversation Project."
Ideal Qualities of an Effective Mediator
Michael Lang describes some of the qualities a mediator should possess: self-awareness, knowledge of theories and literature, and continual self-education.
Author, Author! An Interview with Michael Lang, Author of The Guide to Reflective Practice in Conflict Resolution
How do you think about reflective practice?
Interview with Michael Lang - Views from the Eye of the Storm
This is the complete interview by Robert Benjamin with Michael Lang, former President of the Academy of Family Mediators and founder of the Antioch University conflict resolution program, filmed for the Mediate.com 'Views from the Eye of the Storm' Video Series.
Why Case Consultation/Reflective Practice Groups Matter for Mediators
While mention of reflective practice in the field of mediation has grown in recent years, its use is still not standardized in the work of most mediators.
From Michael Lang
How do I love thee, mediate.com: First, you are a unique resource for practitioners, researchers and educators with articles touching on all aspects of mediation (and ADR) practice and theory. At every workshop, seminar, training or academic course I provide a link to relevant article on mediate.com and encourage students to make use of this wonderful resource. Second, you are a mirror for the field, reflecting the history and development of alternative dispute resolution. Third, you are egalitarian. You encourage and publish submissions from novices who write about their introduction to the field as well as from gifted and experienced practitioners and thinkers. Congratulations on 500th newsletter of remarkable, provocative, humorous and educational articles.
Michael Lang Receives John Haynes Award from ACR
Michael Lang, former President of AFM and founder of the Antioch Masters in Conflict Resolution Program, received the ACR's 2012 John Haynes Award. Here are his award acceptance comments.
Mediator - Subpoenaed?
“Mr. Lang, my name is Chris Adams. I am a process server and have some papers for you.” With as much calm as I could muster, I asked, “what sort of papers?” He replied, “a subpoena.” And with that simple telephone conversation, the story begins.
From Advocate to Advisor: The Role of the Lawyer in Mediation
Recognizing that their clients benefit from this collaborative role, attorneys should utilize mediation as they would any other dispute resolution process—wisely and with due regard for their particular role in making the most of its unique attributes.
Michael Lang: Practitioners Not Thinking Critically - Video
Michael Lang talks about how many mediators lack awareness about their own process and this troubles him.
Simple Mediation Methods Can Help Children Resolve Disputes
Ah, the joys of parenting. Did we sign up for this? Who said we would need to be referees? Parenting was supposed to be about loving, nurturing and educating our children. I can’t tell you the number of times my three children would squabble about food, toys, space or (most contentious of all) control of the TV remote. So, when these arguments happen, and they will, what’s a parent to do?
Michael Lang: Mediation's Potential for Societal Change - Video
Michael Lang tells of when he first thought of mediation as a force for changing the way society looked at conflict.
Michael Lang: Fear of Conflict and Ramifications - Video
Michael Lang discusses how some mediators fear conflict and/or do not have the skills necessary to handle it. The intervention that happens because of this fear suppresses or hinders the parties experience and possible need to express conflict.
Michael Lang: Concern: Certification Processes - Video
Michael Lang talks about his concern with how the certification process is lacking in the ability to assess - in the moment and continuously -whether someone is capable and effective in mediating.
Michael Lang: Positive Accomplishments in Field - Video
Michael Lang shares what he is currently glad to see in the field: mediation being taught in school programs, community mediation, and the increasing visibility and accessibility.
Michael Lang: Pulled into Practice by Clients - Video
Michael Lang speaks of his start in divorce mediation when he was a lawyer.
Michael Lang: Account of When a Stage Method Didn't Work - Video
Michael Lang tells of a mediation session where he did not follow a step-by-step model, demonstrating that sometimes, a strict model does a disservice to the parties.
Michael Lang: Concerns: Institutionalization, Self-Promotion - Video
Michael Lang discusses what troubles him about the field. This includes institutionalization, causing increased rigidity, as well as certification processes for purposes of self promotion.
From Michael Lang
I provide students in all my classes with copies of or citations to mediate.com articles. They are an invaluable source of up to date information and practice approaches written by some of the most important practitioners, teachers and researchers in the field. Students find the articles informative, helpful and always provocative.
Out of the Rut and Into the Groove: Developing Excellence in Practice
The edited Keynote Address delivered by Michael Lang
at the MII Annual Conference, Ireland, 15th November, 2002.
The Making of a Mediator: Developing Artistry in Practice
The Making of a Mediator goes beyond the basics of mediation process. In this essential resource, expert mediator and teacher Michael Lang outlines his innovative model of artistry in professional practice that results from the understanding of and connection between reflective practice and interactive process. Together with Alison Taylor, they have created a landmark book that offers conflict resolution professionals the theories, principles, practices, and ideas for developing true artistry in mediation. This is the preface to their book.
Becoming Reflective Practitioners
In this article, I want to talk about a process that seeks to educate reflective practitioners: Those individuals whose practices are grounded in theories of conflict and conflict resolution, who are aware of ongoing research that informs their practices, and who continually refine their skills through a rigorous process of self-reflection.