February 23, 2009
ARTICLE: 'I' Before 'E', Except in Mediation
Kelly Anders teaches Mediation, Interviewing & Counseling, and Professional Responsibility and is the Associate Dean for Student Affairs at Washburn University School of Law. Her article, ‘I’ Before ‘E’, Except in Mediation: Training Introverts to Use Extroverted Techniques to Become Stronger Mediators, will be published this year in the Oklahoma City University Law Review. Abstract & SSRN Link below.
Little research has been conducted on the personality types of law professors and others who train law students and lawyers to work as mediators, but if the assessments of attorneys and students are any indication, it is likely that professors and other instructors probably tend to fall into the "introvert" category. As a result, several questions arise. How important is a feelings-centered approach in order to be an effective mediator? Can introverts teach other introverts to behave as extroverts? Which traits of introverts and extroverts are most valuable for mediators to possess? And, can a mediator be sensitive to the parties' feelings on either side and remain neutral?
This article discusses traits of introverts and extroverts, provides examples of mediation training techniques that strengthen the extroverted traits most beneficial for effective mediators, and concludes by suggesting methods for law schools and other mediation training programs to consider in developing students into mediators with balanced introverted and extroverted skills.
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