Happiness

As one might suspect, mediations are more likely to end in settlement when the participants are in a good mood or are happy.   Parties in bad moods make a mediator’s job more difficult; their overall negative outlook on life turns even the best settlement proposals into “bad deals”. So, when [Read More]

By |March 6th, 2020|Research|

A New Tool in my Toolbox!

The  other day I stumbled upon a tweet mentioning a “velvet hammer”. Wondering what it was, I googled the reference and came upon an article discussing its meaning and use; Why the ‘velvet hammer’ is a better way to give constructive criticism by Stephanie Vozza. Taking issue with the what [Read More]

By |April 12th, 2019|News articles|

The Pitfalls of “Moral” Politics

Morality and “moral” politics seem to be in the news lately. I came upon an article in the Science and Technology section of The Economist (June 22, 2017 edition) discussing “political morality”. Noting that this may be an oxymoron, the article discusses studies showing that politicians who take a position [Read More]

What is your Goal?

I just obtained a teaching position as a Lecturer of Law (aka adjunct professor) at University of Southern California Gould School of Law teaching the mediation ethics portion of an ADR Ethics class. One of the issues we will be discussing is the conflicting goals of the participants (that is, [Read More]

A Resolution for the New Year

About a week before Christmas, LiveScience published an article reviewing two studies suggesting “… that our brains prompt us to act more like Santa than Scrooge. (Id. at Your Giving Brain: Are Humans Hardwired for Generosity? by Mindy Weinberger (December 19, 2016.).) Based on two different research experiments, the researchers [Read More]

By |January 6th, 2017|News articles|

The Words We Use

As a mediator, I have learned to choose my words carefully. The way I phrase something will make all the difference in the world between gaining someone’s trust and angering them. The importance of wording is brought home by Kenneth Cloke in his book, The Dance of Opposites (Goodmedia Press, 2013). [Read More]