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Try, Try Again

Being Relational, Blog

If at first you don’t succeed… That’s right, “…try, try again.” Remember your grandmother’s old adage? And it’s so true for being relational. Especially for lawyers. So often the knee jerk response to other’s conflict is to shake our heads, join, or, at the request of a potential client, file a lawsuit, or, perhaps to write a letter on behalf of the client to the person whom they feel has aggrieved them. That letter often carries with it the thin

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I Can Relate!

Being Relational, Blog

Have you seen the ABA’s recent report from the Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being (LWB)? Sobering. The Report says we have a lot of unhappy lawyers in our profession. It also reports that lawyer unhappiness is resulting in staggering rates of depression, alcoholism, suicide and other mental and emotional ailments. Serious stuff.

I recall testifying in our Maryland state legislature back in the late 1980’s on the issue of child support collection, making a case for why recalcitrant and delinquent payors,

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What’s Love Got to Do With It?

Being Relational, Blog

Tina Turner belted out in her 1984 lyric, What’s love got to do with it? You remember, right? The sizzly song about the crazy confusing experience of strong emotional and physical desires butting up against the rational protect yourself mental act. We can bet that when our Relational Mindset is in alignment with our behavior and actions that we too will experience that crazy push-pull. Well, maybe not quite as steamy as Tina Turner but definitely real, with our active

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How To Efficiently Handle Discrimination Disputes In The Workplace

Blog, Workplace & Commercial Disputes - Mediation

Employees expect to work in an environment free of discrimination, and employers need to be prepared to mediate any workplace disputes with confidence and ease. In the United States in 2016, there was a total of 91,503 workplace discrimination charges. To effectively handle discrimination disputes, employers need to give each situation the attention it deserves by taking certain steps.

Determine the type of investigation needed

Each workplace conflict is unique and should be treated as such. Employers first need to decide if

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3 Different Types of Workplace Conflict to Look Out For

Blog

Conflicts in the workplace isn’t an isolated occurrence to just your company, it happens in the majority of businesses. Particularly when you’re a small business or are just starting out, workplace disputes and conflict are prevalent. Moreover, when these conflicts go unresolved, they can lead to poor employee operation and behavior, such as depression, aggression, and high turnover rates.

In order to combat conflicts in the workplace, you should be familiar with the different types of conflict and how they might

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4 Unmistakable Signs You Need Couples Mediation

Blog

Divorce. Chances are you have heard of or know a couple who has gone through a divorce — after all, it is exceptionally common in the United States. In fact, the rate of divorce is astounding, as there is one divorce approximately every 36 seconds across the country. For perspective, this equates to 2,400 divorces per day, 16,800 per week, and 876,000 per year.

Despite these statistics, divorce doesn’t have to be in your future. Couples mediation can be exceptionally powerful

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What is Family Mediation and When Is it a Good Idea?

Blog

Families are complex and require work and patience. Even the most tight-knit families have issues that need to be worked through. Sometimes it can feel as though a problem will break you apart and there’s nothing that you can do to fix it.

Utilizing family mediation can be a great way to come to an agreement on even some of the toughest issues.

What is family mediation?

Either you and your family mutually decide to see a third party mediator or one is

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Workplace Conflict: Your Next Steps to a Resolution (Part 2)

Blog

In the last post, some helpful tips to resolve workplace conflicts and employment disputes were discussed. The previous tips focused around the importance of active listening, keeping the conversation on topic, and the delicate skill of expressing feelings and emotions without the conversation becoming too heated.

In this post, you’ll read a few more tips to help you resolve workplace disputes.

Ask, don’t tell

Even if you’re at the very end of your patience with one of your coworkers, you shouldn’t tell them

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Workplace Conflict: Your First Steps to a Resolution

Blog

Workplace conflict is a messy and undesirable situation; it’s also inevitable in any large office. Nobody wants to deal with a conflict, and certainly not if they struggle with their job as it is. On top of it all, 60% of employees are never given the opportunity to receive basic conflict management classes or communication training during their employment, making it more difficult to come to a resolution.

If you’re concerned about workplace conflict, whether as an employee or employer, here

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3 Tips to Prepare You For a Divorce Mediation

Blog, Family Disputes - Mediation

Divorce doesn’t always have to be contentious, and it certainly doesn’t have to end up in a court battle. Granted, it can be hard to be civil in certain scenarios and even more difficult to put emotions aside and come to a resolution.

You don’t have to do it alone, though. Divorce mediation, with the help of a professional and experienced mediator, can be a great way to settle your divorce without it turning into a large battle. Before you begin

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Mediation Changes People

Blog

When people turn to a mediator for help, it is often helpful for the mediator to remember that conflict often takes a personal toll on people. People caught in difficult and long lasting conflict have often lost some self-confidence, clarity, openness to new approaches, and inner strength.

Often people coming to mediation have been in a difficult or hostile setting where they have argued, spoken to deaf ears, felt insecure or confused, or have themselves listened, not to hear, but

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We’ve Moved! A Message to Our Schenley Road Neighbors

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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

         I hope you are well. I wanted to let you know and to also ask that you pass along to our Schenley Road and Evergreen neighbors the following.

         After more than twenty years at our location on Schenley Road, Baltimore Mediation is relocating. It has been two very good decades. We are sad to go and wish we did not have to, but you may be aware that our 17 year old son, Archer, on a

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Moving from “them” and “me” to “we”: Being Relational in the Millennial Generation

Blog

Millennials get a bad rap. Labelling them the “me” generation, the stereotype is that millennials are selfish, obsessed with material possessions, and unwilling to expend attention on something that lasts longer than a snapchat. The anti-millennial fire was stoked recently by a poll sponsored by the Atlantic Magazine and the Aspen Institute, which found empirically that only 22% of millennials found helping others to be a top priority, while 46% said that money was crucial to the attainment of the

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The Challenge for Mediators in Respecting Self Determination – The Person about to make a “bad” decision

Blog

Baltimore Mediation recently had an opportunity to conduct a workshop on mediator ethics to
the Baltimore City Circuit Court. We know how important it is for mediators to examine their
orientation to practice and we always facilitate discussion of the attendant issues in our
certificated 40-hour trainings. Baltimore Mediation believes that an ethical mediator must
examine ethical questions and grapple with them.

In training, when Louise Phipps Senft asked the question “What makes you a good mediator?”
The responses were varied. A few examples: “I’m

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The Vacation House Dilemma: What Will You Pass on to the Next Generation?

Blog

When you think about the next generations– your children, children’s children, and what you want to pass on to them, what comes to mind? It’s a cocktail of things – wonderful memories, wealth, access to opportunities, close rapport with siblings, and an appreciation of the relationships and communities that have come to shape them. We all hope to get to the point where we think about those next generations and can be proactive in helping them.

How are

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Changing the Interaction Between Baltimore Police and City Residents – A Call for Funding and Expansion of Unarmed Civilian Peacekeepers

Blog

Whatever your perspective on the unrest in Baltimore and whatever you believe the root causes are, most can agree that something went wrong in the interaction between students and police last Monday. Here at Baltimore Mediation, we intensely focus on the interaction between people in conflict. We believe that if we can help change the interaction, fostering quality dialogue, breaking patterns of behavior and reactivity that escalate conflict, then people can cooperate to create lasting change. It involves using power

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A Call for Relational Leadership in Baltimore

Blog

The unrest in Baltimore is a case study of conflict and inspires many passionate perspectives. As professionals in the field of conflict transformation for over 21 years, we want to understand what others in the field are saying about the riots. In an email earlier this week, a local educator stated their distress about the “lack of credible, local voices to serve as advocates for unrelenting constructive protest.”

We want to look harder at the idea that what we

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Conflict Transformation: Skills & Method Explanation – Mapping Conflict

Blog

Dusty Rhoades
Baltimore Mediation, Community Mediation Centers of St. Mary’s & Calvert County
An excerpt from the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation, Inc.’s Blog

My wife and I started using movie and TV clips in mediation training after participating in a workshop facilitated by Baruch Bush and Joe Folger called Rethinking Conflict in 2008. We were so inspired by this teaching and learning tool that we picked up the ball and ran with it.

We show a clip from a

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Don’t Stand Up to a Bully, Sit Down with Them – Transformative Mediation Works to Address Bullying

Blog

On November 22, 2013, Louise Phipps Senft spoke at the Ray Rice Anti-Bullying Links of Kindness Conference held at the SECU Arena at Towson University. The event, organized by Ray Rice, Pro-Bowl running back of the Baltimore Ravens, drew a crowd of 5,000 parents, teachers and students to seek solutions to bullying and recognize the efforts in Maryland to stop cyber-bullying in particular through Grace’s Law. Louise brought her unique perspective to the conversation. Below is the text of her speech.

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Enneagram Training Testimonial: A New Perspective on Conflict

Blog

As a personality typing system, the Enneagram has clearly stood the test of time, but Louise Phipps Senft has brought it fully into the 21st century by employing it as a powerful diagnostic tool in the practice of conflict resolution. In a recent training with Louise, I learned that the roots of conflict are self-absorption and confusion, which I can definitely identify with. Seeing a sample conflict scenario was eye-opening, I really identified with the workplace tensions presented. When I’m stressed, I shut down; I don’t let anyone in to help. I’ll just stubbornly grind away in futility.

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