RESOLVE Senior Advisor receives award for environmental protection through conflict resolution

Sep 3, 2013

The Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) has just selected RESOLVE Senior Advisor John Jostes to receive the 2013 Sharon M. Pickett Award for Environmental Protection through Conflict Resolution. The award recognizes “significant and important” contributions to environmental protection for a project or over the length of one’s career.

John deserves this award and the recognition it brings. He has helped stakeholders work through such dicey issues as sharing water and protecting species, and beyond conservation to issues like homelessness. As a Senior Advisor to RESOLVE, John focuses on water and climate.

Check out the award announcement here.

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Put On Your Own Oxygen Mask First

Mar 29, 2011

On the long drive home from an evening community meeting, after a busy (good but tiring) week I was reflecting on the fact that our work as collaborative leaders and problem solvers can be rewarding as well as stressful, tiring, and emotional.

I reminded myself that to help people solve contentious problems, we need to take care of ourselves first. It can be hard to step back from a drama or a puzzle.

So here’s my own list of how to sustain yourself first, so you can help and nurture others second. This list works for me, if you have other suggestions to add please let us know as comments on this entry:

1) Go outside—being outside can be profoundly spiritual or just a good way to get some Vitamin D– -too much florescent lighting does me in.

2) Keep learning—invest in professional development, learn new skills, read. Take on new challenges—new places, new techniques, or new issues.

3) Eat real food, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly—hotel Danish, late nights, and airplanes cause conflict resolution decay.

4) Let’s sustain our spirits—be in nature, go to religious services, yoga, or meditate regularly. Touching in with what gives us meaning nourishes our practice.

5) Reflect on practice and work regularly— meet with a group of colleagues, write in a journal or build new relationships. We can get stale if we don’t reflect on why we do and say the things we do when we are working.

6) Spend time with people who like and love you (or even a dog). We spend a lot of time attending to others; let’s make sure others are attending to us as well.

7) Play—go to the movies, read a book, go on vacation, do something that is fun. All work and no play makes for dull and burnt out facilitators and mediators

8) Last but not least—lighten up….look for humor in unexpected places, enjoy the moment, the world is going to keep spinning if you take a nap or go bird watching.

- Juliana Birkhoff

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Wait a Minute – How Do You Know That?

Mar 10, 2011

An administrator from a large commercial insurance company calls you at Y.C.O. “You Control the Outcome” (an ADR organization specializing in mediation). He tells you that his best friend just got divorced. He was surprised that it was not as bad as many other people’s divorces. His friend said it was because they had a mediator who smoothed the process out and helped them both move on without too many hostile feelings. Moreover, his friend bragged about how much money and time his ex-wife and he had saved by mediating their divorce. The administrator (we’ll call him Dave) asks you how would mediation help his firm get faster, cheaper, and better settlements to their disputes. You are so excited you tell him yes, you and your associates specialize in helping organizations resolve their conflicts efficiently and economically. Wait a minute—how do you know that’s true?

This column will help us figure out how to separate the hype from the facts, the marketing claims from the reality. First though, we have to venture into a little bit of philosophy. Then, we’ll come back to what to tell Dave. (more…)

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