I’m writing this from the cockpit of our new sailboat, “Time Out” on Catalina Island. I can’t help but reflect on how taking some “time out” to do some perspective taking is such a healthy exercise. It is really why I ask every party mediating before me to come to my office–away from their usual trappings and try for a few hours to gain some perspective on the conflict their enmeshed in. I also had the pleasure of substitute teaching for a class at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution this week. Seeing mediation through the eyes of students was another perspective I had not taken the time to experience in quite awhile. Many of the students were also law students and my observation was stunning to me: being in the world of “law” and training to figure out who’s right and who’s going to win at trial is a real impediment to mediating!
So this week I’m thankful–that I have a chance to gain some perspective now and then…and that I have the blessing of inviting people in conflict to take a much needed “time out” to do the same.
Conflict is inevitable, wouldn't you agree? Yet, many of us are conflict-avoidant while others readily engage. Regardless, conflict is uncomfortable with long-lasting effects on how we live-- unless we make...By Debra Dupree