03 June 2010

mediation is like ATS

A few months ago, I took a 40-hour course in Mediation with Community Boards in San Francisco. The idea is that if all the mediators know what the outcome is to be-people in conflict create their own resolution-and they all use the same "tools." The mediators can come together without knowing each other or ever having worked together, and facilitate a resolution for the parties in conflict.
Impossible you say? Not really. I realized that it's like ATS. We have steps and formations that everyone agrees to, music that is a familiar format, and we all want the same outcome-a great show.
Today I participated in my first Mediation. There were two experienced Mediators to work with. We met 15 minutes prior to the start of the session. We got the case history 5 minutes prior to the parties arrival..sound familiar?
Piece of cake, really. We Mediators agreed as to who would be "points person", who would do "the welcome", who would do "confidentiality agreement", etc. Then we just "hit play" and the show started, as it were.
I was a bit nervous, being my first time, but it actually went really well. We were able to work with the parties and brought them to resolution.
It was like ATS. We all knew what we wanted to achieve-a favorable outcome for all involved-and we simply used the common "tools" and "vocabulary" to bring it about.

I'm hoping to use this new skill to offer a new service, Tribal Counsel. I'd like to make myself available to dancers (troupes, individuals) who are "stuck" and need help with business consultation, developing healthy troupe dynamics and tools for resolving conflict.

Talk to me.


Lea said...

This is desperately needed in the dance community. They offer specialized mediation for divorce and education, etc. I would love to see more discussion about how to resolve conflict with fellow dancers and troupemates/directors. Drama is optional! :-D

pippistrella said...

The skills you learn in mediation can apply to so many situations--you become a peace-maker, and the whole world will benefit. I salute you! The issue I have encountered locally is that troupe directors take their positions seriously and don't embrace the "shared leadership" model. New ideas are not welcomed and the alienated dancers split off to form their own troupes. I am going to guess that resolution involves compromise, yes?

Carolena Nericcio said...

Interesting you mention "compromise" as that's the logical conclusion. However we aim for "collaboration." Meaning that in a compromise, each party gives up something that they want in order to resolve the issue, whereas in collaboration the parties don't give anything up, but create a solution that works on both sides. An example would be where Sally and Jessie want both want to rent at the Rapael Studio, both want Wed nights. Upon discussion, hearing the other person's case and realistically looking at their schedule they realize that they can share the studio if they take alternate weeks because neither of them can commit to a full time schedule (OK, that's a bit of business advice from Carolena as well, because wanting to teach a class and realistically being able to commit to a schedule are not always the same thing. And, if you advertise a class, you have to be there no matter what, or is sends an unprofessional message to the potential customer.)

Temis said...

I was asked once to participate in a mediation training. I was given a role to play, and told to not make it too easy on those in training. I had a position and an argument that were not unreasonable, but I was told the character needed to really stick to her guns. It was exhausting and I felt awful at the end. What a good lesson from that side of the table in the freedom of letting go of a win-lose position. Most of the time we're emotionally invested and cannot see that. Best wishes in your new endeavor!