Howard Bellman received his law degree from the University of Cincinnati and an L.L.M. in labor law from New York University. He served as Secretary to Wisconsin's Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations under Governor Tony Earl's administration. He has extensive national and international mediation experience. He has mediated complex multi-party disputes for the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Park Service, the States of Wisconsin, New York, New Jersey, Washington, and Florida. He has served as guest lecturer at Cornell, Minnesota, Oberlin, Harvard, Yale, and the University of Wisconsin. He is on the Advisory committee of the American Arbitration Association Global Center for Dispute Resolution Research and was one of twelve mediators featured in the 1994 volume When Talk Works. He is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators, the Association for Conflict Resolution, and Wisconsin and Ohio Bar Associations.
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Interview with Howard Bellman
This is the complete interview by Robert Benjamin with Howard Bellman, a long-time leader in the field of labor-management mediation and mediation in the public sector generally, filmed as part of Mediate.com's 'Views from the Eye of the Storm' Video Series.
It’s Been A Trip and We're Not There Yet
It seems I have reached the point in my career when those who would be historians ask for my recollections, assessment of the state of the art and vision of the future. Here is my polite reply, including my very personal description of our earliest days, some aspects of our evolution and the future as I would prefer it, not how I predict it. I would only add that I don’t know the dimensions of the learning curve we are on and I prefer to believe that despairing over unachieved goals is premature. Optimism, patience and tenacity ought to come naturally to mediators.
Pioneer Series: Mediators Use Instinct - Video
Howard Bellman talks about how little training and literature there was about mediation and being trained by senior mediators who used their instinct, which led him to mediate by instinct.
Howard Bellman: Mediation Past, Present, and Future - Video
Howard Bellman speaks of how the mediation field has become more mainstream, though it's original intention was to be more radical and counter-culture. He believes the field will continue to grow.
Howard Bellman: Views on Society and Conflict - Video
Howard Bellman describes his politics regarding mediation and conflict within a society. His view is that a society should be diverse and accepting of different opinions and viewpoints, a society where conflict is allowed, yet they are addressed.
Howard Bellman: Mediating With Intuition - Video
Howard Bellman talks about mediating in stressful circumstances where politics, personality, and/or emotions are high. Gifted mediators combine talent and training to be able to handle those situations in an intuitive way.
Howard Bellman: Labor Disputes and Public Strikes - Video
Howard Bellman describes his start in mediation working for the state agency in Wisconsin mediating public strikes.
Howard Bellman: Justice and Autonomy in Mediation - Video
Howard Bellman discusses the fact that he doesn't think justice is being served much of the time, however, the focus is the autonomy of the parties and if they're satisfied, the process is justified.
Howard Bellman: Stimulation of Mediating Early On - Video
Howard Bellman describes his early days mediating strikes in Wisconsin. He felt he was providing an important service for the public and liked the stimulation of helping the creative process while the field was forming.
Howard Bellman: Learning to Mediate - Video
Howard Bellman speaks of how he learned to mediate mostly as an apprentice. He saw the potential of the work and early on, mediated with private businesses represented by sophisticated negotiators who he let "play him", using music analogy.
Howard Bellman: Process of Analysis and "Treatment" of Mediation Cases - Video
Howard Bellman talks about how he analyzes cases using a metaphor of treatment and diagnosis. He compares the analytical process between complicated, multi-party mediations to less complex mediations.
Howard Bellman: What Success is in Mediation - Video
Howard Bellman describes what he does to be successful in resolving a dispute. He uses the term "(doing) just enough" to end in a settlement.
Howard Bellman: Mediation Work and Drumming - Video
Howard Bellman describes mediation work using the analogy of a drummer in a rhythm section: both have structure, influence, judgement, and a stabilizing effect.
Mediator Proflie: Howard Bellman
"I absolutely love this work. It requires
developed skills as well as intuition and some
risk taking. We work with individuals and
organizations who are important to our society,
and we contribute to the civility of our culture.
We are in a position to help demonstrate that a
diverse society can respect and consider
conflicting philosophies without coming apart. "