Hello and Welcome. Please allow me to introduce to you my new blog: Eye On Conflict. I’m not the first mediator to blog, and I won’t be the last. But like everything a good mediator does, this choice was well thought out and thoroughly researched before I embarked.
Beginning with the environment. What you are seeing around this environment represents to me a lot about what I do as a commercial mediator. At the top, the feather represents the light touch a mediator sometimes needs, as mediation is a lot about nuances, subtleties and a delicate touch. And yet the coins represent the thing people are generally fighting over. The pen indicates to me the ceremonious signing of the mediated agreement, which represents a person’s consent and their bond to adhere to the commitments made in that agreement. The stone will always remind me of my dear friend Erica Ariel Fox’s Global Negotiation Insight Institute (GNII), as she uses it in her picture logo, and her teachings stay with me where ever I go, but especially in the mediation room. The leaves relate to the acorn at the bottom of the page, where every great settlement – simple or complex – grows from the tiny acorn of an idea that often other people said would not work. Kind of like a non-lawyer being a successful mediator working in the world of litigated cases. Notice at the top how one is younger and rich in color, and the other is older and looks about to turn. It is always my goal to mediate with the energy, stamina, wit and being the quick study of a young soul, but with the wisdom of a person seasoned with the years of a life in business, negotiating complex deals way beyond my years. Given that when I began 15 years ago, I was a young-looking 32 year old, the first part wasn’t ever in doubt. But I have always lived my live through the eyes of an 80 year old me, rocking on the front porch with a glass of iced tea in hand, looking back with the perspective of how my work this day, and the deal we reach, will be judged by me and others from that retrospect.
The dark wood represents the solid backing I have always had from my family, my friends, and from my loyal clients – often the lawyers who have trusted me with their clients most difficult disputes. And the coffee stains at the bottom represent to me the many, many hours of hard work that have gone into creating my mediation practice, and that in a single day to any meaningful resolution.
This blog is intended to be a discussion, a dialogue with you, about mediation, conflict resolution, dispute resolution, conflict management and negotiation in settings from neighborhoods to workplaces to litigated cases to current events and global issues. I welcome and look forward to your input, comments, additions, and disagreements. Let’s talk!
My two themes, which you will find me repeating often throughout this site are: There is no substitute for experience. And: Tough issues call for masterful solutions. I urge you not to underestimate either one. And I hope, through the words that will follow in the days, months and years ahead, to provide both.
I will, from time to time, mention the training institute I founded in 2008, the American Institute of Mediation (the AIM Institute), and my radio talk show called Talk It Over. I will do my best to avoid shameless plugs and only refer to them when there is a learning point or a resource that can be derived from them. But I do hope you’ll check them both out.
One last thing, while I think my writing is conversational and easy to read, and grammar is generally OK, I’ll confess right now that just like when I drive my car, there are some rules I choose to follow and others I choose not to. Case in point: in writing, I choose to end sentences with prepositions, when it feels right to me. There, I’ve said it.
I’m glad we could get a little better acquainted. I hope you’ll stop by and visit again some time soon.
Lee Jay Berman
The Mediation Offices of Lee Jay Berman
Founder & President, American Institute of Mediation
Co-Host “Talk It Over” radio show
Complete C.V. and info at www.LeeJayBerman.com
More in mediation at www.MediationTools.com