Dear LA Mediators:
I hope that the summer and fall so far have been productive and full of great mediation experiences! And most importantly, that everyone is as busy as they want to be...
I am very excited about our November meeting, set for November 4. The topic is something we all should know more about as mediators: The Role of Religion in Mediation.
I'm on record stating that some of the most challenging folks to work with in the mediation process are people of strong religious convictions. This year I've had a couple of situations where the decision maker pronounced that they wanted to go to trial because "God is telling me I'm going to win at trial." I managed to get those cases settled eventually, but these situations have been a wake up call to me as a mediator to learn some more about how we can respect, accommodate, and ultimately be of service to participants of strong religious faith even when the positions taken seem irrational or at a minimum not based on logic. Many people look to their faith in making important decisions, and are influenced by discussions rooted in the language of faith. We all could use some strategies to help us succeed in these situations!
We're fortunate to have one of our members, Greg Stone, step up and lead the discussion. Greg is the author of Taming the Wolf, a guide that combines contemporary conflict resolution with the legend of St. Francis of Assisi taming the fierce wolf of Gubbio. He will share his observations and lead our discussion of the subject.
I think this meeting will be one of our liveliest...as I am sure all of us have a viewpoint. Some people say that you shouldn't bring up politics or religion in polite conversation. But on November 4, we're putting the issue of religion and mediation in the spotlight. I'm really looking forward to it!
So, as usual, LA Mediator members in good standing get first dibs on a seat. After that, we welcome all-comers. Our venue for this one should be sufficient to accommodate everybody, so if you know a mediator whom you believe would be interested in the subject, please extend an invitation!
I don't know about you, but I think it's time for LA Mediators to get together and lead the discussion and the mediation community! I look forward to seeing everybody, and please either rsvp on this site, or get in touch with Kym. We're going to need an accurate head count so be sure we have adequate libation.