IMI 2015 Biennial Census Survey

Academia, business and governments universally declare mediation the most cost-effective and quickest manner to resolve conflicts. But do the majority of civil and commercial players even know the practical aspects of this game changer enough to use it with confidence? Have we done our best to let them know?


(see link at the bottom of the page)
The International Mediation Institute (IMI) invites YOU and YOUR COLLEAGUES to participate in a brief biennial survey to gather information about Mediation & ADR Awareness, IMI Performance, and YOU. IMI launches initiatives to promote worldwide growth of practical and sustainable conflict resolution systems. By completing the survey we can:
  • Find out what matters most to you about resolving conflicts,
  • Tell others what you are up against when it comes to conflict management
  • Grow mediation by building awareness and support, and
  • Enhance the IMI organization to make it fit for YOUR needs.
Please forward the survey to people whose opinion you value!

Survey results will be sent to all who include their contact details in advance of being posted on the IMI Webportal.

We appreciate your time and participation.
About the International Mediation Institute (“IMI”)

IMI is a non-profit public interest initiative to grow mediation by driving transparency
and high competency standards into mediation practice across all fields, worldwide.
The basics of IMI in a Nutshell can be found here: 



read more "IMI 2015 Biennial Census Survey"

#RenoACR15: Organizational Ombuds- Expand Your Skills

Join expert ombuds Barbara Beatty (Deputy Dispute Resolution Officer, Texas Department of Public Safety) and Rita Callahan (Associate Ombuds, UC Davis) for a full day training at the ACR national conference. This will be a great opportunity to expand your skills tool box by identifying and intentionally incorporating skills utilized in other alternative dispute resolution practice areas.
This interactive and dynamic session will focus on enhancing skills utilized in mediation (process, positions v. interests, and listening for agreements) and facilitation (purpose, process design, confidentiality, and types of activities) for the purpose of enhancing ombuds’ practice.

More information on the conference:
Register for the conference [HERE]
read more "#RenoACR15: Organizational Ombuds- Expand Your Skills"

Researchers Identify Useful Negotiation Strategies for 'Honor Cultures'

An interesting new research study explores the role of different cultures in negotiation.


COLLEGE PARK, Md.June 15, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new study shows that Western diplomatic strategies based on rationality may backfire when applied to discussions with "honor cultures," such as in the Middle East, African and Latin America. The authors of the study recommend that diplomats better tailor their word choice to the values of the culture with whom they are negotiating. Another outcome of the study is a new "honor dictionary" based on hundreds of interviews in the Middle East that identifies "honor talk" in negotiations and contrasts it with other dictionaries developed in the United States to assess more "rational talk."
The study examines the role of honor in negotiations and was designed to complement the "rational" Western model of dialogue and to better serve honor cultures. The new proposed honor model—based on models found in many Arabic-speaking populations—illustrates the linguistic processes that facilitate creativity in negotiation agreements in the United States and Egypt.
Led by Professor Michele J. Gelfand of the University of Maryland, researchers at UMD and the Egyptian Training Center Research inCairo, Egypt, published "Culture and getting to yes: The linguistic signature of creative agreements in the United States and Egypt" in the Journal of Organizational Behavior.
In some cultures, maintaining personal honor is deemed more important than other benefits that might be gained in a negotiation, including goods or services. In these contexts, the Western model of seeking rationality and more objective measures of gain could be interpreted as being inhumane or counterproductive.
To examine how honor concerns play out in negotiation with Western cultures, the research team connected same-culture pairs of participants in the United States and in Egypt recruited from the community, who were given one hour to engage in a negotiation simulation. The simulation concerned a real estate developer that planned to open a mall and a large retailer that was interested in opening an anchor store in the mall. The situation gave negotiators opportunities to reach creative solutions by meeting each other's underlying interests.
"We found that the same language that predicts integrative agreements in the United States—essentially, that which is rational and logical—actually hinders agreements in Egypt," Gelfand said. "Creativity in Egypt, by contrast, reflects an honor model of negotiating with language that promotes 'honor gain,' or moral integrity, and 'honor protection,' or image and strength."
When examining documents to build the new honor dictionary, the researchers found that U.S. negotiators used more words related to logical and reason—such as "analyze," "idea," and "think"—than their Egyptian counterparts. Egyptian negotiators used more words connected with the concept of honor, including "help," "trust," and "agree."
"It's interesting to note that the same rational language that predicts 'win-win' outcomes in the United States undermines agreements in honor cultures. For example, we found that Egyptians were more effective at reaching satisfactory deals the more honor language they used," Gelfand said.
The researchers hope their findings can be applied to negotiations and dialogue between cultures around the world, at the personal, community, corporate and international political levels.
SOURCE University of Maryland
read more "Researchers Identify Useful Negotiation Strategies for 'Honor Cultures'"

The 2016 Global Pound Conference Series!

The 2016 Global Pound Conference Series!

An invitation to participate in shaping
dispute resolution and access to justice around the world

In April 1976, an event now known as the Pound Conference ignited modern ADR in the USA, launching discussion of what might be the “greatest reform in the history of the country’s judicial system “.[1] Forty years later, all stakeholders in the dispute prevention and resolution fields around the world are being invited to participate in a series of unique thought leadership events around the globe under the auspices of a Global Pound Conference (“GPC”) series.
The GPC has a remarkable goal: to shape the future of dispute resolution and access to justice in the 21st Century.

The broad scope of the GPC 
The bold program, which will generate debate and actionable data from stakeholders through events taking place around the world has been initiated by the International Mediation Institute (IMI), a non-profit organization that does not itself provide any dispute resolution services, but promotes quality and transparency in mediation. [2],
IMI initiated the GPC as a joint effort by dispute resolution institutions, service providers, users associations, advisors associations and other organisations to enable all stakeholders to participate actively. 
Although IMI has initiated the GPC, the series will by no means be focused exclusively on mediation.
The series will include discussions about the full dispute resolution spectrum, including negotiation, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, litigation and hybrid processes.

Who will participate?
All participants, including those attending physical meetings or participating in them online, will be able to express their views and preferences and help to shape the future of dispute resolution in their countries and internationally. A dedicated GPC online platform and physical meetings will permit exchanges of data via smartphone and tablet voting apps accessed by all participants, whether users, providers, advisors, educators, adjudicators, policymakers and other stakeholders in the ADR communities. The data will be streamed in its raw state to all participants in real time.

How the GPC will be conducted
In the current phase of planning, it is envisioned that most of the questions will be common to all GPC events, and the technology will allow the data to be segmented, for example by stakeholder group (e.g., the perspectives of users, advisors, providers and others) to enable comparison and detailed analysis.
The initial plan for the GPC was for a series of meetings in 15 cities. Initial interest in the GPC, however, suggests that the minimal number is more likely to be 25 and potentially even more.
Thousands of participants will vote, creating by far the most extensive and reliable data record in the dispute resolution field, enabling fundamental change to occur in how dispute resolution is practiced almost everywhere. 
Before any voting takes place, many of the world's leading thinkers and users of dispute resolution services, locally and globally, will have a chance to express inspiring thoughts about what is working well and where there is need for improvement.

How the GPC will change the conversation about dispute resolution
Currently, the ADR field suffers from a serious deficit of reliable data. Even the letters “ADR” are interpreted to mean different things, from “Alternative Dispute Resolution”, “Amicable Dispute Resolution” and “Appropriate Dispute Resolution” to the rather cynical “Alarming Drop in Revenues” among lawyers who fear that clients settling cases will deprive them of work. Some users believe “ADR” precludes negotiation, litigation or arbitration. Others see it as including all forms of dispute resolution and dispute prevention techniques. Some believe ADR relates primarily to mediation, however that term is defined[3]
Regardless of definitions, users’ opinions and needs are rarely collected or expressed, and the service side of the dispute resolution industry is left to make assumptions and guesswork on many critical issues, sometimes relying on advisors who are not necessarily aware of all their clients’ business or relational priorities. The GPC intends to cut through this on a global scale, enabling users, advisers, service providers, mediators, adjudicators, educators and policy makers to agree on common concepts both locally and internationally by generating credible and actionable evidence.
The GPC series may possibly become the most important happening in the dispute resolution field since the US 1976 Pound Conference that it is named after.

How to Participate
The GPC Series is being co-ordinated by a Central Organising Group (COG) and will be implemented by Local Organising Committees (LOCs) throughout the world in 2016. Current cities where LOCs are already being set up or contemplated include Amsterdam, Barcelona, Beijing, Dubai, Frankfurt, Geneva, Hong Kong, Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Lagos, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Milano, Moscow, Miami, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Sao Paolo, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney and Toronto. A leading professional international congress organiser, Kenes Group (, with great experience of large-scale data-sharing conferences in the global healthcare sector will be assisting the COG in convening the events and in developing the IT platform that will underpin the GPC Series.
Sponsors, partners and other supporters, including volunteers and media partners, are invited to create or join LOCs for this ground-breaking series. Significant start-up funding for the GPC has already been made available by the Herbert Smith Foundation, as a platinum sponsor, and JAMS, as gold sponsor. Global partners already include the International Bar Association, the ICC, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution and the American Arbitration Association, the CCIAG, the American Bar Association, and many other leading international and regional organizations.
For more information on the GPC Series, and to get involved, please go to or contact the COG at You will also be able to follow developments on Twitter@GPCSeries, as well as in other social media to generate a truly global debate and discussion. The goal is to enable the Global Pound Conference to benefit all stakeholders and to help shape the future of dispute resolution, providing access to dispute resolution for all.

Deborah Masucci, IMI Board Chair, Formerly Vice President in the Office of Dispute Resolution at American International Group, Inc.
Michael McIlwrath, Chair of the Global Organizing Committee for the GPC, IMI Board member and Global Chief Litigation Counsel, GE Oil & Gas, Florence, Italy.

[1] Hon. Wayne D. Brazil (U.S. Magistrate, N. Dist. Calif), Court ADR 25 Years After Pound: Have We Found a Better Way?, 18 Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution 93, at 149 (2002).
[3] “Mediation in the European Union and Abroad: 60 States Divided by a Common Word” in Chapter 2 of Manon Schonewille & Fred Schonewille (eds.) The Variegated Landscape of Mediation: A Comparative Study of Mediation Regulation and Practices in Europe and the World, The Hague, The Netherlands: Eleven International Publishing, 2014. See

To download this blog post as a PDF, click here
read more "The 2016 Global Pound Conference Series!"

How To Be Someone People Love To Talk To


This is from Eric Barker's wonderful blog.  Basically everything he writes is worth reading and I highly recommend signing up for his newsletter. From his most recent weekly email:

When do we really learn good conversation skills? Well, we don't. We're just kind of expected to pick them up...

And we wonder why people aren't better communicators. How can you be that person people love to talk to?

I've posted a lot of research and expert interviews on the subject so let's round up the info and make it actionable.

In this post you'll learn:
  • How to make a good first impression.
  • How to be a great listener.
  • What the best subjects to discuss are.
  • How to prevent awkward silences.
  • How to politely end a conversation.
And a lot more. C'mon, let's chat.

How To Make A Good First Impression

First impressions really are a big deal and talking to new people can be daunting, no doubt. What's the answer?

...And when they open up, don’t judge. Nobody — including you — likes to feel judged.

FBI behavior expert Robin Dreeke’s #1 piece of advice: “Seek someone else’s thoughts and opinions without judging them.” Here’s Robin:

The number one strategy I constantly keep in the forefront of my mind with everyone I talk to is non-judgmental validation. Seek someone else’s thoughts and opinions without judging them. People do not want to be judged in any thought or opinion that they have or in any action that they take. It doesn’t mean you agree with someone. Validation is taking the time to understand what their needs, wants, dreams and aspirations are.

Suspend your ego. Avoid correcting people or saying anything that could be interpreted as one-upmanship.

Read the full post and visit the site [HERE].
read more "How To Be Someone People Love To Talk To"

Popular Posts