I'm doing an Alternative Dispute Resolution course at UWA at the moment - it's run through the Law Faculty by Jill Howieson and David Rogers and goes for ten weeks, with an optional accreditation examination at the end of it. We're over halfway through now, so I thought I should look back on the experience so far.
I'm doing the course because I'm the Equity & Diversity Adviser for the Education faculty, so having some dispute resolution skills will/do come in handy. At the same time, though, mediation is a process I've been interested in for a while anyway, so I'm pleased I have the opportunity to take the course from a broader perspective as well.
Having said that, I was a little bit concerned about the course in advance - ten weekly three-hour sessions after a full day at work? With potentially very procedural and legalistic content? You'd have to be mad!
Fortunately the course has been a lot more exciting - we've really focused on negotiation, interest exploration and the underlying motivations and feelings that drive people to say and do particular things. Talking about feelings all evening is something I rather enjoy, and I end up feeling peculiarly energised from the session.
There are roughly thirty of us on the course: some are UWA staff and some are external from law firms or government departments. We do a lot of role-playing, with everyone getting a chance at some point to be a mediator in a dispute between two aggrieved parties. It can be challenging to phrase things appropriately, to avoid negative language ("well it looks like you've come to a stalemate here") and to focus on the process and getting the parties to work through to an outcome (not a "solution"!) of their own doing. There are also some similarities with teaching that I appreciate - you
don't want to give away the solutions, you want to make silences work
for you and so on.
I'm still getting my head around the different stages of the mediation process and how to progress from one to another, but I'm enjoying the experience and quietly committing myself to take the examination at the end of the course.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Friday, June 21, 2013
When I graduated my mother wanted to give me something suitably traditional, like Kalevala Koru jewellery, as a present. I thought about it for a little while and decided on Hollola fabric.
Sunday, June 2, 2013
Over the weekend I attended two performances: a screening of Shakespeare's Globe's Henry V at Cinema Paradiso and Jesus Christ Superstar at Perth Arena.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Drunk naked West Australian uni students hit the streets to sell racist hate-speech has got to be in the top 10 of headlines your average Vice-Chancellor would not want to have to deal with.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
I'm planning the next trip back to ye olde motherland, and am thinking about all things travel-related. I find it hard to strike a balance between trying to visit as many countries as possible and spending longer stretches somewhere to "really get to know the place". A ridiculous sentiment, but one I cling to.