Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Today I am going to Freeport for a seminar on mediation.

I loved law school and almost every course that I took has proven valuable to me, but the ones that I took on mediation, negotiation and alternative dispute resolution were among the most useful.

Going to court is a last option and not always a good one for clients. Litigation is expensive and the stakes are high. In many cases, the emotional issues laid out bare in the courtroom are ones that never heal.

Fortunately, for all but the most intractable clients or difficult cases, there are means of settling disputes that do not involve judges, juries or even Judge Alex.

Sara read a book for her senior thesis called You Just Don't Understand by Deborah Tannen. It it she talks about communication methods and how they differ by gender. I haven't read the book yet, but my understanding from her description and from the section that I did read is that women use communication to negotiate intimacy. If you think about how women talk to each other, it's easy to see--we compliment each other, ask for details about life situations and try to leave most conversations feeling closer to one another.

Enjoy this beautiful Spring day.


beckie said...

Beth, your seminar sounds interesting. Is it strictly for lawyers or will anyone be able to attend? Women do have their own way of communicating don't they? And I think women are born mediators. At least I am, always wanting to 'settle' life's problems and please everyone. If you pick up any tips on dealing with an ex-son in-law(who can be a real jerk!) let me know. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Beth, I can prove you're right that women use communication to negotiate intimacy. Its happened to me more than once. (Does that mean I'm a woman?)

Jayne said...

A truer statement was never spoken. Women indeed use words to negotiate intimacy. It's no wonder there is sometimes such a communication gap!

TheElementary said...

How people communicate with each other is always an interesting topic to me. It's about the fundamentals of human society and it's intriguing.
Hope you enjoy/enjoyed your day!

The Texican said...

Oh mediation, not meditation. I thought your trip to the Andes had caused some kind of altitude sickness. I see you got the "'Rents" back safely. Say "HI" for me.