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#Infographic – Indicators of Effective #Mediation

Mediation is often assessed in terms of single factor only: whether involved parties reached settlement or not, irrespective of the way in which it was steered or the quality of the outcome. While effectiveness of outcome is obviously important, there is wider range of indicators of a competent and effective mediation.

 

 

Feature Image Source: here

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We spoke to CEO Steve of Badger Maps about his thoughts on conflict management in his field.

Steven Benson is the Founder and CEO of Badger Maps, the #1 route planner for field salespeople. After receiving his MBA from Stanford, Steve’s career has been in field sales with companies like IBM, Autonomy, and Google – becoming Google Enterprise’s Top Performing Salesperson in the World in 2009. In 2012 Steve founded Badger Maps to help field salespeople be more successful. He has also been selected as one of the Top 40 Most Inspiring Leaders in Sales Lead Management.

What is your day-to-day like?

My day-to-day activities usually involve meetings with my teams, calls or video chats with team members from our other offices in SLC and Spain, and focused time where I can work with no distractions.There are always a ton of things coming up every day and we have lots of projects going on at Badger. To stay on top of everything, I focus on getting the important things done – even when they’re not urgent. Unfortunately, there are also ‘urgent but not important’ things and ‘important and urgent’ things that constantly pop up

The way I carve off time to focus on getting the important things done is by working late at night when there aren’t any distractions. The other thing that has worked just as well for me is waking up early and working. In either case, the key is that the phone doesn’t ring, there are no meetings, and no one is grabbing me to take care of things that are urgent.

I also write down every night the most important things I want to do the next day, and then try to do those things before anything else. I like to put this as a recurring calendar entry because then anything I don’t do in a day can automatically roll over to the next day, and it blocks off a period of time for me to focus on those important things. There are a bunch of productivity apps that are great for this, too.

For me, it’s important to have half my day unscheduled. So many things come up that if I didn’t have unblocked time throughout the day, I wouldn’t be able to jump into the things that are really important to keeping the team moving efficiently.

What were your big challenges?

There have been a lot of challenges when starting and growing Badger Maps, but the toughest one was to build a great team. You need a team of great people to do great things, but it’s hard to hire people who have the expertise that you need to build a company. I’m sure this is more true in some industries than others, and it’s certainly true in our industry – software.

The challenges to building a great team starts with finding great co-founders. Bringing in great people, who are the right fit, with the right skills onto the team early on when you face insurmountable odds is one of the toughest parts of launching a business. After you lock in the core team, making your first few hires are critical in terms of shaping the culture and getting your future leaders in place. It takes way longer and it’s way harder to do well then I ever realized before I set out to do it.

Another challenge for me was, and still is, building a great culture and providing the best communication platforms while having a mobile workforce. It’s hard to create a sense of community with a dispersed workforce because people need to socialize in person to build trust and relationships. At Badger, we have offices across 3 continents but we do our best to have a cohesive culture.

How did you address them?

To foster a great culture and community at Badger, we have employees from different offices visit and work out of the other offices for extended periods of time. We are for example sending people from our Headquarters in San Francisco to our main office in Europe, in Spain for 1 to 3 months.

We encourage constant communication between the employees with tools like Slack and Google Hangouts but it’s still a challenge to constantly keep everyone involved and updated.

We also have a Foosball table in our office since it’s a great team building activity. We’ve found that when a team has a sport or an activity in common it’s invaluable and fosters a great and inclusive culture. It helps everyone get to know each other, deepens relationships, and gives people a way to blow off steam together. Foosball is a simple but surprisingly fun game, and anyone can play it as it cuts across gender, culture, and natural physical ability.

A team building event playing a popular sport like basketball has an uneven playing field. Even if one person is great at Foosball, and the other person has hardly played, it’s still fun, and the teams can be balanced in two on two pretty easily. The positive impact on team culture to have something that anyone can do together is hard to beat! All of the Badger offices have a Foosball table that people enjoy playing – often in a highly competitive manner. When people go to different offices, they all have this shared hobby in common.

What are some clear results since solving the problem?

We were able to create a different kind of culture at Badger that is more supportive and team oriented than a lot of Silicon Valley cultures. I hope and believe that we are creating a company with an environment where all types of people can thrive in and develop successful and fulfilling careers.

What do you see as exciting opportunities in the future?

 

I’m most excited about the opportunity to coach, lead, mentor and further grow my team at Badger. I’m having a ton of fun helping people be their best in their career, and there has been so much personal and professional growth at the company over the last few years. We have taught people how to do better at their job. But more important, we’ve worked to find the right fit for people in the organization and launched their careers in a way they will never forget. I’m looking forward to coaching even more in the future and growing the teams across our different offices.

What advice do you have for others in your shoes?

My advice is to build a culture and business that people are really excited to work at. It’s important to create an environment where everybody feels welcomed and appreciated, and is happy with their position and career development. Providing a great workplace will help you avoid internal conflicts and miscommunications, overcome challenges with recruiting and hiring and increase employee retention.

Culture is an important concept because it makes or breaks the success of an organization. It can make a company great to work for or it can make it a chore to show up for work. Culture is hard to put your finger on, but if all the people who work at a company seem to have something in common, function as one unit, and seem to all be on the same team, then they probably have a strong culture.

You can try to gloss over a crappy work environment with higher pay and perks, but ultimately, people leave their jobs because their manager is bad or because the company has a crappy culture that sucks the life out of them. But it’s hard to fake, you have to have an authentic, genuinely awesome place to work to attract and retain top talent, and grow your business.

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In response to a student’s question about the “norm” of judging others in contemporary society:

Judge Not-When anyone judges another to be unworthy, he places himself at the right hand of God. No man, be he a king, a doctor, an attorney, a peace officer, or any secular title which could be used here, has the right to place himself as better than another. Regardless of what faith or religion (or lack of), humans are universally different from one another, not better, and not worse.

Socioeconomic stratification is the result of many factors, but one is not an inherent quality of being. Contemporary man has the unfortunate habit of comparison, the most contemptible form of judging another, which leads to jealousy at many levels and coveting, one of the most egregious sins. The only valid comparison is to one’s self. “Am I better than yesterday? Can I strive to be better tomorrow? Does my comprehension of ‘better’ align with being as good and virtuous as humanly possible, knowing I am prone to human error in my actions?”

“Live not to the expectations of others, but to the attainment of the best ‘self’ possible based on where you were, where you are, and where you could hope to be, without violating the ‘being’ of another.”

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It’s Better To Stand Up Against It.

Largely, it has been assumed that sexual harassment happens only to women.

But according to a survey conducted by the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE), 79% of the victims were women and 21% were men.

This issue isn’t restricted to any gender, community, type of workplace or any other basis. It is prevalent everywhere and needs to be considered for the safety of every individual going out of their homes to work.

Let’s #StandUp against #SexualHarassment

 

#Webinar – You too? #MeToo: Workplace Power Imbalance by

Dr. Buddy Thornton

Webinar Details:
Duration: 1 hour
Date: 5th April 2018
Time: 10:30 am PST to 11:30am PST
Register till 31st March 2018 to enjoy early bird discount
Registration & Webinar Details: http://bit.ly/2G4iSM6

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#metoo webinar on April 5th, 2018 “Workplace Power Imbalance”

The issue of workplace conflict has become a viral issue for contemporary society. At no point in our history have victims stepped forward in these numbers. On the one hand, it is awe-inspiring to see the empowerment being exhibited. On the other, conflict management professionals need to ramp up and support the burgeoning number of people in need of our vital competencies.

Join us for a webinar exploring this explosive subject. April 5th, 2018. For more info, go to:   http://bit.ly/2G4iSM6

 

See everyone there!

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Complimentary Schismogenesis-Creation of Reactive Division in Dyadic Exchanges

Complimentary Schismogenesis (CS) is usually used to explain a conversational effect. Imagine you culturally fill all periods of silence with a remark, something very typical of the northeastern United States. If you finish speaking and no one joins in immediately, cognitive dissonance prompts you to fill the silence. In many Eastern cultures, participants respect the silence between statements as thoughtful reflection. When Westerners attempt to fill this gap, eastern participants perceive rudeness. The more one speaks, the more the other party refrains, creating the awkwardness of Complimentary Schismogenesis.

Another way CS is expressed is in conversational volume. When a person from a louder, more vocal culture blows through a conversation, someone who culturally projects a quieter countenance is often taken aback and may even avoid further engagement. The avoidance reaction often creates emergent conflict due to the differing styles of normal engagement.

CS is a behavioral obstacle to understand if one works in multi- or cross-cultural environments. Your norm is not everyone’s norm. When exploring CS, it is possible to discern the effect within everyday conflict as well.

During my bowling career, competitors offered opportunities to bend the elbow with an adult beverage they purchased. I haven’t consumed alcohol for over 40 years, so I usually declined out of habit. Most of the time this was acceptable, but some competitors took this as refusing to be sociable, which led to conflict. The more I insisted it was my nature to remain sober, the angrier these people became. Research suggests this is an obvious externalization of CS in play.

To reiterate, when language, cultural differences, habitual norms, or expectations become exaggerated in dyadic exchanges, the result is CS. The misunderstood behaviors can explode and push otherwise reasonable people into solitary dances of reactionary opposition.

A related projection of CS creates differences in comfort zones. When someone prefers to lean in during a conversation encounters someone more comfortable with more space between participants, CS rapidly emerges. One moves closer while the other dances away. This form of CS is foundational to the science of Proxemics, the study of how people use space within their sphere of influence.

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Parenting Question Asked Today

“Why is it when I talk to my parents about my life they make it about my sister, compare me to her, and hurt me so deeply?”

Buddy’s Point to Ponder:

One constant problem parents project to their children is the one you describe. Comparison creates controversy leading to conflict. Many points apply here. As a father of four who is also a great-grandfather already, I think some practical reason should work here.

One, there is NO better or worse, only different. Goodness knows my children ended up on all four points of the compass. I thank the good Lord for that reality daily.

Two, Choice Theory shows us we control only one person, ourselves. Parents are horrible at understanding that. They typically stack comparison on top of expectations (their expectations). You only answer to one person-yourself.

Three, parents constantly but subconsciously rate their parenting on their children’s accomplishments. Note to all parents. That is “Stupidity” personified. Worry about your world and your accomplishments. Love and support unconditionally, otherwise a concept called complimentary schismogenesis will creep into your world. This concept says the more you push someone one way, the harder they will go down a different path. Try exhibiting some curiosity about each child as an individual and support their choices. That is REAL parenting.

Tell them they are causing you this level of pain. Tell them you love them, but you are going to follow your heart, and they should support that and stop comparing, which is very disruptive to family dynamics in general. If all else fails, ignore them and seek activities that allow you to grow as a confident, self-directed person who embraces competing with only your self and your goals. Blessings on your journey, and all the luck.

For more on parenting dynamics, contact buddy at buddybravambassador@gmail.com for access to parenting dynamics classes.

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Attributes of a Good Mediator

There is no formula for figuring out who the “best” mediators are – there is no governing body that determines minimal qualifications for a professional mediator. Even if there were, education and training don’t guarantee competence, because a “good” mediator also possesses certain internal attributes that aren’t necessarily learned in a classroom. They just simply can’t be learned in a classroom. They are internal traits which are either inherent or learnt from one’s own environment.
This article lists external and internal attributes that the most effective mediators possess.

External attributes

Mediators in the United States are not required to meet a uniform standard of education or training for beginning to practice mediation; each state has its own requirements, or, in many cases, none at all. It depends from situation to situation and place to place.
For this reason, it can be difficult to evaluate the qualifications of a potential mediator. We recommend paying particular attention to the following external attributes of mediators you are considering to hire:

Training/Education

How much training has the mediator received?

Was any of the training specific to a certain area of practice (e.g., family, landlord/tenant)?

How recently was the mediator trained? Do they attend refresher courses and keep up on current mediation techniques?

Where was the training conducted?

Does the mediator have a degree in dispute resolution or a related field? If so, from where (e.g. online, law school, university)?

These questions do held relevance, even though just a degree is not enough to know the competence of a mediator.

Certified or certificated? (If required in your state)

Is the mediator actually certified or certificated?

What organization issued the certificate?

What are the requirements of that certificate?

When was the certificate earned?

This will let you know the ‘value’ of you mediator, and will give you a fair abour his or her skills.

Experience

For how long has this mediator been in practice? Full-time or part-time?

How many mediations has this mediator conducted, and how many were similar to yours?

Does this mediator specialize in the area of your particular dispute?

This one is important. More the experience, more the tact. Experienced mediators often have higher success rates than the ones who are not that experienced.

Professional memberships

Does this mediator belong to an organization requiring adherence to certain standards?

Does this mediator serve on the board of any relevant organizations?

This again gives an idea about the standing and influence of a mediator.

Philosophy and approach

What philosophy does this mediator apply to their work? Do they describe their work as facilitative, transformative, and/or evaluative? Take note of how the mediator describes their process, then consider what that would look like when applied to your case.

What kind of interaction with disputants does the mediator like to have?

Fees

Are fees charged by the session, by the hour, by the case?

What is included in these fees?

This one is also  important and should be decided beforehand so there are no disputes about it afterwards.

Internal attributes

What about the things that can’t be listed on a profile page? There are five ways to know about the competency skills which cannot be presented on the paper:

Investigative

Effective mediators are able to quickly identify relevant information. They ask questions to gain an understanding of both the facts of the case and of parties’ underlying interests and motivations. This investigation helps them in understanding and resolving the case.

Empathetic

Mediators should handle the knowledge of parties’ underlying interests with empathy and consideration. They are willing to ask emotionally difficult questions and do so in an unbiased and respectful manner. A non empathic mediator has lower success rates.

Inventive and problem-solving

Effective mediators help disputants discover common ground and guide them toward mutual understanding from there; they are willing to be inventive with unusual situations. This will help you reach faster to a resolution.

Effective presenter

Verbal expressions, gestures, and eye contact are consistently and effectively used by good mediators to structure an environment in which disputants are willing to re-examine their positions. They maintain a safe and relatively calm atmosphere with confidence and communicative body language.

Capably manages interactions

Mediators should keep the parties on track and working toward the issues they have identified as central to their conflict, and call for breaks or private caucuses when needed. A good mediator knows when allowing tension to rise will be productive and when to effectively defuse tension. These tactics must demonstrate sensitivity to the disputants’ needs (e.g., emotional, cultural) and remain neutral.

After the mediation

After you select your mediator – and hopefully, settle your case – it’s time to help others consider this mediator for their own cases. A testimonial and/or recommendation of your mediator provides vital information for other people in conflict, particularly about the mediator’s internal attributes that can’t be seen on a profile page.
Additionally, a testimonial helps to spread the word that mediation is a quick, confidential, and cost-effective way to settle disputes out of court. A mediator should be selected very carefully and in no haste.