This week

One for the mediators among us


Maria’s Midweek Mindfulness 


The Wednesday Whisper

Now we have the DATNA  (Deadly Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement)


On a mediator forum in NYC, I found this very real question….

How do mediation programs & practitioners address parties’ possession of weapons (e.g. guns, knives) before – or revealed during – a session?

As a practitioner who has experience of mediating gang related and threat to life disputes where it has been entirely possible that one or both parties had a concealed weapon on them, I was surprised to see this among the responses…

“What is missing from all the responses is an acknowledgement that here,  each of  us must consider the Second Amendment rights of each to bear arms, subject to State reasonable restrictions”. The Mediator declares himself a proud NRA member.

And relieved by a reply….

“Someone’s right to possess a gun does not create in me an obligation to allow an armed person into my office with it.  Just as your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose.  If I have the ability to ask that   

 no one bring a menacing dog to a session because it will be distracting or otherwise diminish the process we are undertaking, then it seems likely I could say the same thing about someone bringing a gun”



Maria’s Midweek Mindfulness

The real question here is about safety for the parties and the mediator. One thing I know from experience is that what keeps me safe in my work is having no agenda for another human being and having the skill to communicate it so they believe me.


The Wednesday Whisper

How do you react in the midst of heated conflict? What could you improve or change?


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