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Steve Erickson Interviewed By Family Law Report Part 3

Dec 10, 2014   //   by Erickson Mediation   //   Blog  //  Comments Off on Steve Erickson Interviewed By Family Law Report Part 3

Joe Sorge continues his interview with Minnesota attorney Steve Erickson about the appropriateness of mediation to resolve divorce and custody issues, and the inappropriateness of the adversarial court system. In this final segment they cover the ways in which mediation can lead to win-win solutions that are impossible to achieve in court.

The Case For Mediation Over Adjudication … Mediation Resolves Conflict More Constructively

Nov 15, 2014   //   by Erickson Mediation   //   Blog  //  Comments Off on The Case For Mediation Over Adjudication … Mediation Resolves Conflict More Constructively

Steve Erickson conducted a public seminar with EMI co-founder Marilyn McKnight on mediation skills at SIM University, Singapore, on Saturday 1 November.

By Stephen K. Erickson (Guest lecturer, HDSS, UniSIM)

marilyn-mcknight-steve-erickson-ssi-1In our increasingly litigious society, we are beginning to understand that it is better to view conflict as an opportunity for positive growth and change, than as a failure that triggers yet another run to court to point the finger of blame.

Judicial systems in many countries are joining professional mediators, social workers, attorneys and others to apply what we intuitively know: that mediation resolves conflict more constructively and reduces the likelihood of conflict recurring.

In mediation, people enter a completely different system that requires them to think of the other not as their opponent, but rather someone with whom they must work with to find a solution that benefits both of them.

Importantly, many of the skills used by professional mediators can be learned and applied in everyday life, and are not just for those on the brink of going to court. Translating these mediation skills for use in everyday relationships can result in immediate improvement in family, workplace and community relationships. Change can also occur in those negative and even toxic relationships.

The typical process of a conflict follows four stages: the perception of conflict, the assigning of blame, confrontation and finally a dispute with those ‘responsible’. However, adopting a cooperative instead of a confrontational stance can help to defuse conflict by influencing attitudes, modes of communication and outcome goals.

When my 10-year-old granddaughter and 8-year-old grandson fight over who knocked down their latest Lego project, the fight can sometimes become so frightening that I think they are going to start World War III.

As I intervene to help them, I do not say, “All right Emma, Erik, come over here so I can interrogate both of you and get sworn affidavits about each of your versions of the incident.”

I do not say to myself, “I really should have spent some money to install video cameras in the play area so I could spend the next three hours reviewing the tapes from every angle to determine who started this fight.” And I certainly don’t tell them to bring me their savings account book so I can hire attorneys to prepare for an adversarial hearing fixing blame about who started the mess in order to award money damages or injunctive relief.

It is important to move away from the dichotomy of right versus wrong battles, and towards constructive solutions.

Trying to find out the sequence of events and the exact causes of the incident to assign the perfect percentage of blame will be useless and time consuming.

I use the conflict as a teaching moment to help my grandchildren understand better ways to get along. By encouraging open and honest communication, I help them talk through their hurt and tell each other how they feel about the fight.

In this case, is it really important who knocked down the Lego? Is the best outcome to fight and bicker or is it to cooperate to rebuild the project? Through this, their conflict becomes the opportunity for learning better relationship skills, even more so when they each offer an apology for their part in the fight along with a promise to try to do better.

Evidence of the benefits of mediation can be seen right here in Singapore. Mediation, in a structured format, has been proposed for Singapore’s Community Dispute Tribunal as well as being mandated as a process for resolving parent-child disputes under the Maintenance of Parents Act. The Act allows an estranged parent to apply for an Order requiring children to support a parent over age 60 who is in need of financial support. About 80 per cent of cases at the Tribunal for Maintenance for Parents are successfully mediated.

In Australia and New Zealand, mediation is the preferred method and is called “Primary Dispute Resolution” as parties are not permitted to go to court until they have made good faith efforts at settling the dispute in mediation with the help of a professional mediator.

If mediation can work for 10-year-old Emma and 8-year-old Erik, it can certainly work for adults who have more maturity. Even one side refuses to cooperate, there are still other powerful meditative responses to effect a more constructive outcome to interpersonal conflicts.

Marilyn Moderating A Role Play In Singapore

Oct 29, 2014   //   by Erickson Mediation   //   Blog  //  Comments Off on Marilyn Moderating A Role Play In Singapore

MarilynMcKnightmoderatingaroleplay

Marilyn Moderating A Role Play In Singapore

While training in Singapore, Marilyn McKnight will be presenting a 2 hour Public Forum on Mediation to professionals in mediation as well as the general public. Current trends in mediation will be covered, and key principles of mediation that work across all sectors will be highlighted.

Marilyn will collaborate with the Global Institute of Social Work and the Singapore Association of Social Workers.

Training In Singapore

Oct 24, 2014   //   by Erickson Mediation   //   Blog  //  Comments Off on Training In Singapore

marilyn+steve-in-singapore

UniSIM_logo

Marilyn and Steve are in Singapore!

The SIM University School of Human Development & Social Services and the Office of Graduate Studies has invited Marilyn and Steve to teach at their school located in Singapore.

Steve is teaching a course called Conflict Resolution and Community Negotiations. The course is 4 days, Oct. 24-25 and Nov. 1-2.

Steve’s title is Associate Faculty for the Master of Community Leadership and Social Development program.

Marilyn will be presenting a 2 hour Public Forum on Mediation as part of a requirement of the graduate class to attend. This Public Forum will include professionals in mediation as well as the general public. Current trends in mediation will be covered, and key principles of mediation that work across all sectors will be highlighted.

Marilyn will collaborate with the Global Institute of Social Work and the Singapore Association of Social Workers.

Part of the public seminar will be recorded and placed on an international social work teaching website.

An interesting tidbit is that the University is across the street from a section of the city that is a preserved rain forest. Traffic jams circle a section of jungle that is quite dense. Dean Tiong Tan of the School of Human Development told Marilyn and Steve that a panther escaped from the zoo several years ago. It took six months to re-capture it as it roamed the small area of preserved rain forest, all within a small area of city that has 5 million population.

As Singapore’s only privately-funded university dedicated to adult learners, UniSIM has a unique place in the tertiary education landscape in Singapore. UniSIM plays an important role of supporting Singapore’s economic growth by providing skills and knowledge to upgrade pathways for working adults.

Steve Erickson Interviewed By Family Law Report Part 2

Sep 25, 2014   //   by Erickson Mediation   //   Blog  //  Comments Off on Steve Erickson Interviewed By Family Law Report Part 2

Joe Sorge continues with his interview of Minnesota attorney Steve Erickson about the appropriateness of mediation to resolve divorce and custody issues, and the inappropriateness of the adversarial court system. In this second part, they cover the top reason why people fight over custody – money. In part 3 they cover how mediation can lead to win-win solutions that are impossible to achieve in court.

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(The judge) said she would push our divorce through quickly for us because she knew we had worked well together with Marilyn ... Read more

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Erickson Mediation Institute MN
Erickson Mediation Institute
3600 American Blvd West
Suite 105
Minneapolis, MN 55431
(952) 835-3688

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