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Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution

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Using Practical Tools of mindful awareness To improve the work and lives of Lawyers, Mediators, Negotiators, Judges, Arbitrators, and Managers

Faculty: Rachel Wohl

This course uses the “Taking STOCK” technique, a practical technique that enables conflict resolution professionals to continually integrate mindfulness into their work, developed by Rachel Wohl and Leonard Riskin.

Lawyers, judges, mediators, and managers aspire to provide high-quality service and to derive satisfaction in the process, but often face barriers to fulfilling such aspirations. Stress, our fast-paced lives, conflicting demands, self-doubt, and other challenges distract us from bringing our whole selves to bear upon our work and our lives, even when we are trying to do so. The added complication of dealing with conflict is associated with its own distracting welter of thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, and habitual modes of reacting.

Mindfulness, a systematic method of paying attention, deliberately, in the moment, without judgment – can help us gain awareness of our mental and emotional processes, our habitual reactions, and their manifestations in our mind, body, and breath. Such awareness opens the door to developing ourselves in ways that will enable us to perform better and to get more satisfaction from our work.

What you will learn:

  • To better understand and deal with your own reactions to conflict
  • Mindfulness meditation, a highly-refined, systematic method of moment-to-moment non-judgmental awareness, which develops both calmness of mind and body and deep insight into an array of mental and physical conditions
  • Internal Family Systems, a method of working with "sub-personalities"
    that can improve our ability to understand and manage inner and outer conflict
  • The Taking STOCK technique, which you will practice to integrate and maintain mindfulness in various negotiation and dispute resolution roles

Rachel Wohl is the director of MACRO, Maryland's Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office. She is an award winning attorney and mediator, who cochaired the ABA Dispute Resolution Section's Task Force on Improving Mediation Quality. She is a founding board member of Mediators Beyond Borders and is working with them on projects in Greece and Israel. She has practiced meditation for over 20 years and is a highly regarded meditation teacher in national and international venues including law schools and ADR programs. Wohl and Len Riskin have written an article about the "tools of awareness" they developed, which is to be published in the 2015 Harvard Negotiation Law Review.