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Mediation and Negotiation Blog


Mediator as Ombudsman

April 20, 2017

The word “ombudsman” comes from a Swedish term that dates back to 1809, when the Swedish parliament decided to protect citizens’ rights by establishing a supervisory agency independent of the government. Dictionaries differ about the word’s origin, but many in the field prefer one scholar’s definition of the ombudsman (or ombuds or ombudsperson) as “a person who has an ear to the people.”

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I Wish My Parents Chose Divorce Mediation

April 18, 2017

I Wish My Parents Chose Divorce Mediation by Betsy Gardner I would never change the fact that my parents got a divorce. But I would change the way they did it. I now know that there is a healthier route for separation, and I had the chance to see this during my experience as a participant during […]

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Negotiation Preparation: Don’t Do it Alone

April 13, 2017

Most people go about the negotiation preparation process on their own. However, rarely can one person see all sides to a situation, consider all angles of a problem, develop all creative options for resolution, or realize all relevant objective standards on their own. For this reason, we go through a multi-step negotiation preparation process in our two-day negotiation workshops. Participants combine and build upon ideas from each other to create a more exhaustive list of their and the other side's interests, options for mutual gain, and objective standards that determine whether an outcome is

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Benefits of an Ombuds in Hindsight

April 6, 2017

Uber. Microsoft. Twitter. You know the names. You use their products, or know someone who has. What you may not know is that each of these household names have been publicly blamed for gender discrimination at some point within the past two years. Female employees have indicted Uber for simply “slapping the wrist” of a sexually propositioning and harassing manager, Microsoft for harnessing a culture of systemic inequality, and Twitter for denying promotions to and driving women from the company.

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22 Massachusetts Divorce Terms to Help You Understand Divorce in Massachusetts

April 4, 2017

22 Massachusetts Divorce Terms to Help You Understand Divorce in Massachusetts Divorce is hard enough. But what makes Massachusetts divorce even more difficult and costly is when spouses have the wrong information. People often seek advice and information from friends, family members, co-workers, the internet, and several other places. While some of this information can be helpful, […]

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How to Listen Like a Mediator

March 30, 2017

Mediators are masters of listening well. Conflict has a habit of turning conversation into competition, with each statement feeling like a serve that you have to return in order to win a point. Mediators transform the purpose of these conversations from “winning” to understanding one another and working towards resolution, and effective listening skills are a key part of the process. If you want to change the way you have conversations and improve your listening skills, learn to listen like a mediator.

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Divorce Parenting Classes in Massachusetts

March 29, 2017

Divorce Parenting Classes in Massachusetts   Do I really have to attend Divorce Parenting Classes in order to get divorced in Massachusetts? Yes. You do. Divorce parenting classes, or Parent Education Programs, are a requirement by the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court Department for all parents with minor children. Divorce mediators get this question from […]

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The “Separation Agreement:” A Confusing Name for an Important Document

March 28, 2017

  The “Separation Agreement:” A Confusing Name for an Important Document Among couples who are about to divorce, there is often confusion as to what a Separation Agreement in Massachusetts actually is. So, . . . what is it? A Separation Agreement is a written document that describes the terms of the divorce. Once signed, […]

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The Top Tools for Online Salary Negotiation Research

March 23, 2017

Researching a fair, reasonable salary range is an essential step in preparing effectively for a salary negotiation. However, it presents a number of challenges. To help you out, we’ve done the research and chosen the top five online salary negotiation research tools.

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Using Mediation Skills Outside of Mediation

March 16, 2017

Skills developed in MWI’s Mediation Training helped in my recent work with a diverse group of parties to find a solution to a thorny set of issues.

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