• detoxifying language in mediation group facilitation denver
    GROUP FACILITATION AND MEDIATION: Detoxifying Language GROUP FACILITATION AND MEDIATION: Detoxifying Language

    GROUP FACILITATION AND MEDIATION: Detoxifying Language

GROUP FACILITATION AND MEDIATION: Detoxifying Language

As a veteran Group Facilitator and Mediator, I often deal with people who are very angry and intemperate with the words they direct toward other parties to the discussion who they perceive to be on the other side of the issue in dispute (or even consider those other people to be the entire cause of the problem). The use of toxic language results in two things that are antithetical to the conflict resolution process. First, it shuts of dialogue between or among the parties. Those on the receiving end of the aggression typically react in kind, and true dialogue is lost. Second, the discussion then becomes focused on the angry discourse between the parties, and issues are not revealed, recorded and discussed. In this situation, the job of the mediator is at least twofold: detoxify the language and, in the process, clarify the real issue(s) for the parties. I have engaged in this activity so much during my career, that I have developed a segment about it that I use whenever I do conflict resolution training.

I will illustrate my methodology by using my favorite example from community mediation. Two neighbors, both men, were in conflict about the perception that one of them (and allegedly others in the neighborhood) were driving too fast (and therefore, unsafely) on residential streets. At the beginning of the mediation session, the man who had the concern turned to the other party and said: “You speed through the neighborhood like a crazy man and don’t care how many kids you kill!” As might be expected, the recipient of this invective recoiled and was about to launch a verbal counterstrike. I held up my hand toward the alleged crazed speeder to […]

By |September 23rd, 2015|Group Facilitation Denver, Mediation|Comments Off on GROUP FACILITATION AND MEDIATION: Detoxifying Language
  • GROUP FACILITATION AND MEDIATION – WHY? GROUP FACILITATION AND MEDIATION – WHY?

    GROUP FACILITATION AND MEDIATION – WHY?

GROUP FACILITATION AND MEDIATION – WHY?

I have been a Group Facilitator and Mediator for nearly 28 years. When I started in the field in 1987, it was new to me and new to everyone I encountered. I was fortunate to have a sponsor for my training and early years of work in the field in Jefferson County, Colorado. The County retained me as a full-time mediator and facilitator for large land use proposals (mining operations, recreational sites, landfills, hazardous waste sites, etc.). It was a baptism of fire for a conflict resolution professional, but it allowed me to devote all of my professional energies to this fascinating field. As I gained more experience in the field and grew to respect the positive results of the process, I thought that more and more people in all walks of life would come around to using mediation as a way to solve all manner of conflicts. This has happened, but to a much more limited extent than I had hoped. Too many good mediators have left the field because they could not find enough clients. So, I would like to once more make the case for what has been come to be known as alternative dispute resolution or ADR (alternative because it does not follow the typical path of using confrontation in the courts – or other venues – to solve problems).

There are so many reasons for using ADR that I know I will not remember all of them, here. However, all of the reasons are compelling ones. Many of you reading this will probably say: “Why didn’t he list that reason?” All this tells […]

By |July 2nd, 2015|Group Facilitation Denver, Mediation|Comments Off on GROUP FACILITATION AND MEDIATION – WHY?