How to Apply Nonverbal Techniques in Mediation: Clearing Hurdles

The information and techniques in this article are from Barbara Madonik’s book, “I hear what you say, but what are you telling me?” (pg. 64-69) Wiley, Oct. 6, 2001. Knowing how to circumvent obstacles to the mediation process is one of the secrets to a great mediators’ success. Often, parties involved in conflict have habitual response patterns which they bring with them to mediation.  The following techniques are tools that can be used to move the conversation forward and overcome barriers resulting from past miscommunication: As if This technique requires a little… Read More

Upcoming Panel Discussion: Talk It Out -Resolving Conflicts in the Family, in the Community, and in the Workplace

Conflict is a part of life and it affects all of us. It can include disputes between family members, neighbors, a co-worker or a boss, or the school principal.   It can also include disputes between a landlord and a tenant, a customer and a business, a boss and an employee, principals and teachers versus parents and students, parties to a formal contract, and even issues like responsibility for a pet’s actions. Come hear about various mediation options from a panel of experienced conflict resolution experts to resolve these disputes. Join us from… Read More

How to Apply Nonverbal Techniques During Mediation: Gathering Information

The information and techniques in this article are from Barbara Madonik’s book, “I hear what you say, but what are you telling me?” (pg. 62-63) Wiley, Oct. 6, 2001. Gathering useful information is one of the most challenging tasks set to mediators.  The following tools can be used by mediators to access information that is needed for a successful resolution, but may not be presented clearly by participants initially. Recognize Bracket Negotiating Sometimes, participants in mediation will have a specific financial settlement amount in mind.  Bracketing is a negotiation technique that some clients… Read More

How to Apply Non-Verbal Techniques in Mediation: Creating Rapport

The information and techniques in this article are from Barbara Madonik’s book, “I hear what you say, but what are you telling me?” (pg. 58-60) Wiley, Oct. 6, 2001. As a mediator, creating good report with the parties involved in the mediation process is an important part of promoting a productive environment.  When parties feel comfortable with their mediator, they are more likely to consider realistic options and reach a satisfying agreement. Madonik outlines four useful techniques that mediators can use to help parties open up: Anchoring, Match-Pace-Guide, Metaphors/Analogies, and mirroring. Anchoring Any… Read More

Fairfax County Alternative Accountability Program (AAP)

Repairing Harm from Youth Offenses in the Community The Fairfax County Alternative Accountability Program becomes part of Fairfax County Police Department policies county-wide on June 1, 2017.  While this is an exciting development, applying restorative justice practices to solve problems in Fairfax County is not new. The Alternative Accountability Program (AAP) launched in 2014 to address crimes committed by youth with accountability while reducing risk factors tied to court involvement and giving a voice to victims.  AAP is based on restorative justice (RJ) principles.  RJ began in Fairfax County in the Schools… Read More