Conflict Resolution Interactive Skills Program (CRISP) — Part I

Last week, I had the pleasure of participating in a daylong Summer Institute program presented by the New England Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution (NE-ACR).  We were treated to a rich day of skills building from StageCoach improv. Specifically, we were part of their Conflict Resolution Interactive Skills Program (CRISP), a customized “set of exercises and techniques employed by professional improvisational actors designed to enable professional mediators to optimally perform in the moment.”

One exercise stood out as both funny and deeply insightful.  As mediators, we are conscious of  “the inner voice” that thinks what isn’t said.  Often that voice is our own as mediators, as we are strategizing over how to help the parties in a mediation to move toward resolution.  In this exercise, professional actors played the inner voices of two parties involved in conflict. As they discussed their dispute, but made little progress towards actual dispute resolution, we saw a realistic portrayal of what might be going through the parties’ minds.  Afterward, we discussed how their thoughts were reflected (or even deflected) by their spoken words — and how to use this analysis in a mediation, as we helped parties move toward conflict resolution.

Posted in Basics of Mediation and Conflict, Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

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