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The Wisdom of Native Americans

As part of my keeping abreast of new developments in the field of mediation, I read articles by other dispute resolution professionals on This one really struck me as both having a lot of good content for mediators and resonating with my experience as a mediator. In the Article, Joe Epstein traces back important qualities for the mediator to foster, to ways to live in harmony with others derived from a number of Native American traditions. Listening, silence, compassion, humor and more, all create the space for the magic of mediation to occur. Epstein does a great job highlighting how a mediator can encourage a humane mediating climate between the parties and with the mediator. Here is an excerpt from the article.

“For many disputants there is a sense that mediation must provide more than the all or nothing of litigation, that it should touch underlying issues and concern that run deeper than overt legal results. Parties want respect, dignity and an opportunity to be heard as well as a sense that the judicial system has treated them fairly from a financial perspective. Unless today’s mediators are willing to mediate dangerously and take more spiritual and emotional risks, they will fall short as mediators.”

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