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Announcing the Topics of the 2017 OMA Conference

By March 2, 2017Uncategorized

On May 19, 2017, the Ohio Mediation Association will hold its first multi-session Annual Conference.  Different speakers in the morning and afternoon will allow for multiple perspectives, more information, and a better experience for the audience.  Our morning presenter is Dr. Tanya Menon, a notable researcher on the psychology of negotiation, and our afternoon presenter is Jerry Weiss, a mediator who is an experienced practitioner and lecturer.

Dr. Tanya Menon

Dr. Menon’s presentation is entitled “Using Questions to Encourage Collaboration.”

Because well-crafted questions are a key tool for facilitative mediation, Dr. Menon will provide exercises and analysis on the many uses of questions in negotiations.

First, questions can exert influence without exerting power.  Dr. Menon will begin her presentation with a multimedia illustration on effective questioning that includes best uses of open-ended vs. close-ended questions and how to use questions to empower opponents in positive directions.  She will also discuss psychological principles of persuasion, choice as a double-edged sword, and the power of positive and negative language.

Next, questions can hurt or hinder our ability to bridge perspectives in order to solve problems.  In this segment, participants will engage in an interactive communications exercise that will demonstrate the conversational traps that arise from perspectives that are subtly, yet importantly, different.  This exercise will be a challenge for communications professionals, and it will also remind participants of the struggles that disputants experience at the mediation table.  Dr. Menon will again discuss pertinent theories in the psychology of conflict resolution.

Finally, Dr. Menon will present new ideas on using questions to generate creativity.  Concepts beyond standard brainstorming will be presented and explored.  These exercises will allow disputants to consider their problems in more flexible angles and allow mediators to guide the generation of more options for parties to consider.

Jerome Weiss

Jerry Weiss is a civil mediator who maintains an eye for the emotional component to negotiations and an openness to the transformative potential of mediation.  Though Jerry remains one of the longest full-time mediation practitioners in Ohio, he has remained active as a lecturer, serving as an adjunct law professor and delivering nearly 60 presentations on mediation across the US, Canada, and New Zealand.

Jerry’s presentation is entitled “Heart, Mind, and Soul: Insights from a Career of Reflective Mediation and Tools for Reinvigorating the Practice of Mediation.”

Jerry will be packing a career’s worth of practical insight into a three-hour presentation.  His lectures will involve a mix of practical tools, personal anecdotes, useful research, thoughts on the inner workings of mediation, and a variety of frameworks that Jerry has found to be useful in his career as a mediator.  Jerry sees many mediators taking a rote, overly-methodical approach to disputes.  He will present the reasons and methods for empowering the emotional core of mediation.

Jerry’s presentation will touch on a wide variety of topics, all aiming to improve your mediation practice.  His presentation will end with a lengthy armchair discussion and Q&A.  As a dedicated and reflective practitioner, an experienced teacher, and long-time mediation advocate, we are sure that Jerry will be able to provide participants with much insight.

To register for either or both of these sessions, visit our registration page.  We hope to see you on May 19th!

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