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MWI Mediation Blog

  • By Stephanie Bailey

    Ask any one of my friends or classmates what I am passionate about and they will tell you in one word: mediation. My roommate lovingly refers to me as the "Mediation Mermaid," and there is a running joke that I will spend my life facilitating the resolution of society's problems (including the MBTA). I spent this past spring researching mediation, interviewing mediators and business owners, and going through the steps of what it would take to own and operate my own firm. I spent three Friday nights in a row asking my roommates to give me hypothetical salaries to determine child support payments.

  • By Peter Sonnenbend, MWI Mediator

    Increasingly, courts are referring civil litigants to mediation. These courts recognize the benefits of a dispute resolution process that provides parties with the opportunity to explore the resolution of their dispute in an informal, non-adversarial forum. They understand that parties who are encouraged to listen to each other are more likely to structure a settlement that truly meets their needs. They also appreciate that when disputes settle in mediation it relieves courts of the burden of administering and trying the case.

  • Over the weekend, I attended the 9th Annual Harvard Negotiation Law Review Symposium. This year's topic was on restorative justice. Restorative justice is a "victim-motivated" model that suggests bringing together victims, offenders, and community members in order to repair harm caused by crime.

MWI Negotiation Blog

  • By Chuck Doran and Stephanie Bailey

    Meetings are an integral fixture of every organization, and yet, they do not have the best reputation. In a survey conducted by Salary.com, meetings are the "number one productivity killer." Even worse news? A separate survey indicated that over half of the participants would rather do "any unpleasant activity" (even go to the DMV) than attend a status meeting, and employees spend nearly nine hours of every work week preparing for or sitting in meetings. The CEO of Mattel said his company lacked an "innovative culture" and finds bad meetings partially responsible. Al Pittampalli, author and "meeting culture" expert, calls ineffective meetings "weapons of mass interruption."

    Despite the fact that poorly-run meetings have become the laughing stock for cartoons like Dilbert and TV shows like "The Office,"...

  • By Chuck Doran and Stephanie Bailey

    "I thought if we walked away still on good terms, it meant I had lost." 

    I overheard someone say this quite recently regarding a disagreement with a close friend, and I thought, "Huh, how peculiar." 

    This seems to be the accepted mentality, at least in much of the United States, in times of conflict and negotiation. Despite the efforts of Roger Fisher and William Ury, negotiation is perceived as "getting your own way". If you walk away from a personal negotiation with the relationship still intact, you didn't express yourself clearly enough. If you walk away from a business negotiation and the other party seems pleased, was too much given away too easily? Not exactly. This mindset illustrates the misconstrued message that negotiation is a game with one winner and...

  • by Chuck Doran and Stephanie Bailey

    Negotiation has earned, or perhaps always had, a rather negative connotation. It is a process that we use daily, but for some reason, negotiation is often thought of as a competitive battle where all of the parties involved walk away frustrated, annoyed, and/or disappointed.

    Regardless of the fact that negotiations take place on all levels (small, large, intrapersonal, group, etc.), we seem to instictively build them up until they seem almost too big to handle. Negotiating can be intimidating and disliked enough under "normal" circumstances, but then comes the difficult reality: sometimes you are going to negotiate against a bully or on the perceived short end of a power imbalance. While the likelihood of making these negotiations completely painless is unlikely, we're hoping that the following ideas will both validate your feelings of frustration and help you better...

Divorce Mediation Blog



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