February 2017 Bar Bulletin
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February 2017 Bar Bulletin

Understanding and Managing Conflict in 2017
The Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference

By Kathleen Wareham


Is it difficult to talk with friends, family and colleagues with different political views and beliefs? Has the 2016 presidential election led you to wonder how to effectively communicate when people have deeply held beliefs?

Did you know that narcissism is on the rise and that there is evidence of intervention skills that help with such personality traits? Would you like to think of conflict and disagreement as an opportunity to promote personal, relational and organizational learning and transformation?

These timely and weighty topics are some of the engaging ideas in more than 45 sessions available at the 23rd Annual Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference on March 23–24 at the University of Washington School of Law. The conference offers a variety of dispute resolution topics, many of which apply to everyday personal and work life skills, with important topics for our times and the opportunity to earn 11.25 CLE credits including 3.75 ethics credits (pending WSBA approval).

Kenneth Cloke, international mediator and director of the Center of Dispute Resolution Center in Santa Monica, California, will offer two sessions: “The Conflict of Politics and the Politics of Conflict: How to Think about Political Conflicts and Design Political Dialogues” and “Transformational Conflict Coaching and the Art of Waking People Up.”

Cloke explains, “We just experienced an exhausting election, filled with hostility, hatred and personal attacks. We have not yet figured out how to talk to each other about our political ideas and beliefs or how to discuss our disagreements, and yet we are all citizens of the same country and we all care about its future.” Always a compelling speaker, Cloke will offer suggestions about how we can engage in open, honest, skillfully designed, capably facilitated and openly political dialogue.

Dr. John J. Medina, a developmental molecular biologist and affiliate professor of bioengineering at the University of Washington and author of The New York Times bestseller Brain Rules, will discuss the science behind narcissism — what it is, how to detect it and how to deal with it — in his presentation “Narcissists in Mediation.” Dr. Medina offers attorneys and dispute resolution professionals practical insight with his consistently engaging and humorous style, as he presents scientific insights applicable to mediation, law practice and everyday life.

As a closing plenary, nationally acclaimed mediation and negotiation trainer Nina Meierding will explain how people — whether urban or rural, rich or poor, young or old — from different cultures, ethnicities, backgrounds and genders experience reality differently. In her presentation, “How Reality Is Experienced, Shaped, and Changed: Working with Diverse Perspectives That Impact Effective Communication,” she will address how dispute resolution professionals and attorneys can work effectively with conflict in the ever-changing, charged culture of today. This is a year not to miss the annual Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference.

For more information and to register, please visit the conference website: www.wsba-adr.org/page/northwest-dispute-resolution.


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