Last month I facilitated a conversation about language and relevancy in the conflict resolution field for the New England Association for Conflict Resolution annual meeting.
If you’re a New England mediator who missed the vibrant, fast-paced discussion, you can now read a summary of it in the publicly available Winter-Spring 2012 NE-ACR News. I was also profiled in the issue for their ongoing “10 Questions for…” series. Here’s a snippet:
How did you get started in this field?
I was a college dean, and my president kept asking me to mediate disputes in various departments on campus and facilitate large campus meetings where there were diverse and strong opinions on a variety of organizational matters. Then she began recommending me to presidents at other institutions, and I realized that people saw me as someone who could help them sort out messy stuff. I was just winging it, though, so I decided I’d better get mediation training. I came home from that first basic mediation course knowing conflict resolution was the work I wanted to do all the time.
When was this?
That was in 1996. I was a VP by then, and it was months before I built up the courage to walk away from a good and fulfilling job.
Editor, NE-ACR Past President, and all-around fab mediator Louisa Williams has put together another gotta-read edition of the newsletter. It includes a review of Thinking, Fast and Slow by Danial Kahneman, whose early work lit me on fire while I was working on my doctoral dissertation in the early 90s. I enjoyed Kahneman’s new book tremendously and am still working to digest all that was in it.