3. Better Professional Development
Creativity can also lead to interactive and engaging professional development. For example, CoRe Clinic conducts a monthly writer's group for conflict resolution professionals, and in November 2017 engaged in a month long attempt at to achieve daily writing goals. Both CoRe Clinic and the King County Bar Association's Alternative Dispute Resolution Section (KCBA ADR) have engaged in "book club" style programming, that has led to more reflection and discussion than typical speaker presentations. In 2015, KCBA ADR's book club discussion on The Conflict Paradox included the author, who was visiting Seattle to speak at the annual conference of International Ombudsman Association.
KCBA ADR’s next “book club” session will focus on Tali Sharot’s The Influential Mind and will occur at the April 12 lunchtime brownbag at the King County Bar Association. The book will be the inspiration for the discussion, but as with the prior KCBA ADR “book club” discussion, the facilitators will structure the discussion so that everyone can participate, even if they have not read the book.
Theater can easily inspire interesting professional development. KCBA ADR has included skits to liven up its 2016 ethics session and Sharon Sutherland's CoRe Jolt Blog has highlighted how Fringe Theater can be a tool for mediators' reflection.
The American Bar Association's Mediation Week is held annually the third week of October and can be a springboard for organizing a mediation outreach event. Each year a theme is chosen, online toolkits are available, and organizations have wide latitude in developing programming that highlight aspects of mediation. In 2017, KCBA ADR , the Washington State Bar Association's Dispute Resolution Section, and the San Francisco Bar Association partnered for a civility event that was timely and compelling. Anyone interesting in organizing a Mediation Week event for 2018 should contact Emily Martin for more information about how to participate in this nationwide ABA event.
Sometimes, CLE programming for mediators can inspire new ways to increase the market for mediation. In 2015, the KCBA ADR had a monthly program focused on mediator marketing. This led to an effort to increase the market for mediation by including ADR in the KCBA's Lawyer Referral Service. As part of the referral service’s marketing and outreach, KCBA ADR also created an education series of CLEs. These affordable trainings are an opportunity for new and experienced mediators to explore important aspects of mediation, or to introduce other KCBA sections to the referral service. In January and February 2018, the program focused on mediator professional development. In April, the focus will be on programming for KCBA’s Young Lawyer’s Division. In May 2018, this series will return to another mediator professional development session.
A key person to the formation of the KCBA’s ADR referral service is Roger A. Moss. Roger is also directing an innovative program in San Francisco to use conflict resolution serves to decrease evictions that exacerbate homelessness. Through social media, Roger has been able to build connections to this program with conflict resolution professionals around the world. Along with fostering creative collaboration, the program has leverage Roger’s business and real estate background to create an innovative dispute resolution program.