SMU Conflict Resolution Author Series Presents Dr. Robert Barner

SMU Conflict Resolution Author Series presents
“Building Collaboration from the Ground Up: Team building tools for everyone”

You’re invited to attend the SMU Conflict Resolution Author Series featuring SMU Dispute Resolution Lecturer, Dr. Robert Barner, and his book, Building Better Teams.

bobcoverbuildingbetterteamsEVENT INFORMATION
Free Lecture & Book Signing
December 14 at 6:30 p.m.
SMU-in-Plano, Great Room
5228 Tennyson Parkway

RSVP to drcm@smu.edu

ABOUT THE PRESENTATION
Today almost everyone is faced with situations in which they have to get things done through teams. Whether it is the project team you are leading at work or your local PTA organization, at some point in your life you will find that you are working in a team that tests your skills in team collaboration.

For many people, the term “team building” leaves a bad taste in their mouth. If you have ever been to a team building session that either didn’t work or even made matters worse, you are not alone. In this talk the author will explain event why good leaders and good teams can experience difficulties in collaborating, and why team building often fails. You will then be introduced to a simple approach you can use for getting teams quickly back on track. By the end of the session you will walk away with five different techniques you can use for building collaboration in your teams, and you will have the opportunity to talk with the author about any difficult team building challenges that you are currently facing.

Continue reading SMU Conflict Resolution Author Series Presents Dr. Robert Barner

Election 2016: What does your child think?

Original Blog Post by SMU DRCM Prof. Angela Mitakidis

In the current election climate filled with presidential debates, related talk shows and political commentaries flooding our TV screens, what are our children picking up from our reactions, our language, our expressions?

angela-mitakidiswebAt the age of 4, my daughter was role playing on my cellphone, pretending to call her best friend. She proceeded to tell her: “I’m so sorry, Demi, but I’m going to have to cancel our coffee date for tomorrow… I have to take the kids to the doctor… I’ll call you to arrange another time. Ok, great, thanks for understanding. Chat soon, bye”. It was like I was hearing myself speak! (My son did the same with both me and my husband).  As cute as that was, it also served to confirm the abundance of research showing that children observe parents from a very young age to the extent that they can mimic their language and behaviors with astounding precision.

In an article published in Parents Magazine[1], it is suggested that children imitate parents from as young as toddler age as a bonding mechanism, because children draw their parents’ attention and praise when they mimic them. In order to draw more attention and praise, children will continue to imitate. Furthermore, imitation is also regarded as a “stepping-stone to independence”. As children learn to imitate, they become empowered with the discovery of newfound abilities – to mimic what they see, and garner a response. Eventually, over time and with repetition, imitations become self- motivated role modeling behaviors.

Dr. Dan Siegel, a psychiatrist, says that our experiences during infancy influence how the brain develops, how we learn to calm our emotions, and how we relate to others. He explains that the relationships we have with our caregivers at a young age directly shape who we become.”[2]

My children are now 16 and 19, and they still watch my husband and I closely. In the current election climate filled with presidential debates, related talk shows and political commentaries flooding our TV screens, what are our children picking up from our reactions, our language, our expressions? We notice that our children regularly glance at us, gauging our reactions. Research shows that role modeling continues well into adolescence, and even though teens are becoming more independent, they still require and seek out their parents, more so for role modeling and mentoring. How are we doing as mentors?

I had the privilege of working in Singapore with Dr. John Ng (author, mediator, leadership consultant)[3] and am reminded of his work on this subject. He says children do what they see, not what we say – raising great children starts with an understanding of ourselves first. He emphasizes the importance of examining our own values and managing our own ‘hot buttons’ first.[4]

Some of the values we hold dear, and wish to effectively impart to our children could be, for example, our moral compass, our sense of patriotism, equality, faith, the importance of human dignity, mutual respect, tolerance in diversity, charity and the list goes on. Are the values we are telling our children to follow congruent with the values we are displaying for them? If we are saying one thing and displaying another, are we confusing our children? A good question for a parent to ask is “how is my behavior right now reinforcing the values I’m teaching my children to imitate?”.

Continue reading Election 2016: What does your child think?

SMU DRCM Prof. Tom Hartsell on How To Talk Politics Without Blowing Your Lid

D Magazine by S. Holland Murphy

Originally Posted: October 14, 2016

There’s a deep political divide among my Facebook friends: On one side, the conservative suburbanites whom I grew up with, and, on the other, the liberal artists and urbanites I have befriended since college. The election is bringing out the worst in all of them, and the dogmatic social media posts have now hit a fever pitch.

It may be bringing out the worst in me, as well. I’ve never been a fan of political discussions—the result of being raised by a lawyer whose sport of choice is heated debate—but this week’s political theatrics compelled me to leave an incendiary comment on a relative’s Facebook post, and I started to wonder whether some of my relationships could survive this election cycle.

All of this led me to email Tom Hartsell, a lawyer and mediator who teaches in the Department of Dispute Resolution and Counseling at SMU. I asked him if he had any thoughts on how I could make it to November 8th without having to sever ties with people I otherwise love and respect. He wrote back with an essay about his own experience. It’s worth sharing:

“Like most Americans I can’t wait for the presidential election to be over with.  My spouse and I have been coexisting on opposite sides of the political divide since we got married over 20 years ago. Every four years the tension begins to ramp up around the presidential election.  What we have learned is that we do best when we avoid discussion of the election and candidates. We spent years debating and arguing and trying to persuade and change each other’s views without success.

The old saying love the person, abhor the sin is applicable, but in a marriage it is best not to let on how much you abhor your spouse’s chosen candidate. For the sake of the greater good—the relationship—we had to agree to disagree and discontinue political debate. 

As an educator and professional involved in conflict resolution for most of my professional career, you would think I would have had more success in navigating political disagreements with my spouse and keep them from becoming contentious. My spouse and I were unable to keep our emotions from getting hijacked which caused bad feelings. In other words, we would get nasty with each other. Not the kind of heat you want in the marital bed. Fortunately, time has given us perspective. Guess what America, the country survives whoever gets to set up shop in the oval office. The emotional upset political disagreements generated was physically draining for my spouse and I, and would temporarily blind us as to how we truly felt about each other. 

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DRCM Alumna Debuts New Book at Author Series on Oct. 11

News and Events

Originally Posted: October 4, 2016

webrobyn-short-headshot-1-243x300SMU Dispute Resolution Alumna Robyn Short will debut her new book, Peace in the Workplace: Transforming Conflict Into Collaboration, at the Conflict Resolution Author Series on Oct. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the Center for Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management at SMU-in-Plano.

Her lecture, Peace in the Workplace, will be followed by a book signing. The event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to drcm@smu.edu.

Event Details
SMU Conflict Resolution Author Series presents
Peace in the Workplace Lecture & Book Signing

Tuesday, October 11 at 6:30 p.m.
5228 Tennyson Parkway, Building 3
SMU-in-Plano

About the Book
Peace in the Workplace: Transforming Conflict Into Collaboration

If you lead or manage people, processes or projects, you have experienced workplace conflict. After all, where there are people, there is conflict. And where there is conflict, there is a choice. In Peace in the Workplace: Transforming Conflict Into Collaboration, international speaker, peace-building trainer and mediator Robyn Short provides insight and guidance to help leaders and
organizations understand that conflict.
Continue reading DRCM Alumna Debuts New Book at Author Series on Oct. 11

SMU Dispute Resolution Director to receive Lowry Award

News and Events

Originally Posted: September 30, 2016

betty-gilmorewebThe Southern California Mediation Association (SCMA) has chosen Dr. Betty Gilmore as the 2016 L. Randolph Lowry Award recipient. The award honors members of the dispute resolution community who have inspired others through their passion and dedication to education in the field of dispute resolution.

Gilmore serves as director and faculty at the Center for Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management at Southern Methodist University where she teaches a variety of graduate courses in conflict engagement and peacebuilding. She also teaches for The Werner Institute for Negotiation at the Creighton School of Law and the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine School of Law.  She also delivers training and professional presentations both nationally and internationally in the areas of conflict engagement, peacebuilding and human rights.

Gilmore will be the ninth recipient of the Lowry Award. Past recipients include Charles Chang, Russell Korobkin, A. Marco Turk, Peter Robinson, Thomas Stipanowich, Lee Jay Berman, Daniel Druckman and Deborah Masucci.

The L. Randolph Lowry Award will be presented to Gilmore during the kick-off dinner of the 28th Annual Southern California Mediation Association Conference on Nov. 4 in Malibu, Calif.

ABOUT THE AWARD:

The L. Randolph Lowry Award was established in 2005 and is named for L. Randolph Lowry III, a national leader in dispute resolution for over 20 years. He was the co-founder and first president of SCMA, founded the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine School of Law, and is the president of Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn. He has served in more than 40 states and six continents as a lawyer, mediator, author, consultant and teacher in the areas of conflict management consulting, systems design and training.

SMU Dispute Resolution students win national mediation competition

News and Events

Originally Posted: April 4, 2016

mediationcompetitionwebSMU Dispute Resolution students won every award category during the 5th Annual Graduate Program Mediation Competition hosted by SMU’s Center for Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management, April 1-2, in Plano.

Eight student teams from four schools participated in four rounds of mediations over two days, acting as mediators, clients and advocates. After the final round, student scores were combined to determine individual and team awards.

They are as follows:

First Place Team: Dana Garnett, Nate Owens, and Yanina Vashchenko
Second Place Team: Samreen Hooda, Kimberly Wise, and Anjana Vellingiri
First Place Mediator: Dana Garnett
Second Place Mediator: Anjana Vellingiri
First Place Client Advocate: David Russell
Second Place Client Advocate: Elizabeth Blake

This year, the competing schools included Champlain College, Kennesaw State University, Brandeis University and SMU.

SMU’s teams were coached by Dr. Betty Gilmore, Tom Hartsell and Angela Mitakidis.

 

 

SMU DRCM Prof. Angela Mitakidis featured on FOX 4Ward for tips on conflict resolution

Fox 4 News

Originally Posted: January 25, 2016

SMU DRCM faculty member Angela Mitakidis sits down with FOX 4’s Dan Godwin to share simple, but effective techniques to keep disputes from escalating.

[youtube width=”560″ height=”315″]https://youtu.be/8g1tb-qaMIQ[/youtube]

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Seven ways to defuse family conflicts – Holiday advice from a professional mediator

SMU News

Originally Posted: December 8, 2015

angela-mitakidiswebAs a lawyer, mediator, SMU faculty member and manager of SMU-in-Plano’s Conflict Resolution Center, Angela Mitakidis has helped people resolve conflicts all over the world. She finds the techniques she uses to resolve disputes in international court referred cases are just as effective around the holiday dining table.

Here are her tips for resolving family conflicts:

Extend grace Remember the holidays are not happy for everyone. For some they are a reminder of loss or sadness. Give the benefit of the doubt and extend grace and mercy, despite an unpleasant comment or negativity.

Respond, don’t react Reacting is the knee-jerk defense to an attack. Instead, respond with a kind act like, “May I get you a refill?” The best way to disarm a caustic attack is with a kind gesture.

Focus on the good things Diverting the focus from an unpleasant discussion to the common joy, fun and gratitude that comes with the holidays can help to de-escalate heightened emotions in conflict.

Validate Validate a person’s emotions. For example, “It sounds like that situation hurt you a lot.” Whether an emotion is justified or not, that person is experiencing that emotion at that moment. By making them feel heard and not judged, the person relaxes and the escalation of conflict is curtailed.

Common Need Everyone shares the common need to feel loved, cared for, valued and wanted, even the person who seems set on upsetting everyone. Instead of alienating that person, include him or her in a lighthearted holiday activity, like handing out gifts. Make them feel included and they’ll soon forget their complaints.

Laugh It’s hard to stay angry around lighthearted people. Plan fun things in advance, like watching a funny video or playing a game that gets everyone giggling. Humor is good for the soul.

Forgive When all is said and done, and a relative still manages to inflict that verbal jab, forgive and let it go. Forgiveness has many benefits, including a sense of release, relief and freedom for the forgiver.

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Now Accepting Deposits for 2016 Summer Study Abroad

highlights-of-croatia-balka

Take advantage of our incredible 2016 Summer Study Abroad opportunities in Geneva and Sarajevo! These are once-in-a-lifetime trips you can’t find anywhere else. Scholarships available.

For more information, visit: http://www.smu.edu/Simmons/AreasOfStudy/DRC/DR/StudyAbroad.