Hello everyone! February is an exciting month as we prepare for our first purpose-built workplace mediation program, beginning in just a few weeks. We are also happy to announce that, at our CUC Connect members' request, we will offer CLE-eligible webinars for those in CA starting in March for the first of our Power Imbalance webinars.

This month, Gary Friedman will share practical steps for forming peer groups for independent practitioners. At the same time, Norman Fischer visits our podcast, The Other Chair, to give insight into his experience with mindfulness practices in mediation with a few tips you can incorporate daily to center yourself.

Thank you to all of our friends and supporters, 2023 is off to a great start, and there are many opportunities to get involved and continue growing in the understanding-based approach through professional development and training just around the corner.

Catherine Conner



Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well by Douglas Stone & Sheila Heen

By James Dykeman

There is a difference between feedback and criticism, but for many of us, it can seem like the same thing, especially when we are not ready for nor have we asked to receive it. It becomes challenging to sift through the river of information colleagues, supervisors, family members, and well-meaning observers are sending our way. Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen tackles these issues head-on with practical advice and a touch of humor. Their advice helps readers understand how to respond to feedback positively as a means to improve personal and professional relationships while gaining peace of mind and insight into our reactions and apprehensions.

At the center of this internal conflict is the realization that people want feedback, to learn and grow, and to be accepted and understood as they are, without criticism or the compulsion to lead or direct them to become someone other than who they are. The authors, drawing from experience in the public and private sector and insights rooted in neuroscience and psychology, unpack the reasons and solutions surrounding this dissonance while offering solid advice through helpful examples and practical tips on how to seek and receive feedback in a constructive and meaningful way.



Forward Together: Walking the Professional Road with Peer Support

By James Dykeman

Being a conflict resolution and mediation professional can seem like a lonely endeavor, as many have transitioned from legal professions, management roles, and other industries, leaving behind support networks and professional associations in pursuit of a new career in alternative dispute resolution. At the same time, there is a competitive nature in the field of mediation as practitioners and teachers look to attract clients and training groups which can leave some with the impression that going alone is a better way to preserve opportunity and avoid overlap in professional pursuits.

There is an alternative approach through the independent formation of peer support groups, gathering like-minded professionals practicing under similar models, such as the understanding-based approach. Individuals can work together to share local resources and expertise and talk through professional challenges and client experiences. Peer support groups can create new opportunities for professional development and practicing fundamental mediation processes like Looping and the Inner V.



Mindfulness in Mediation

Mindfulness and mediation can be vital to addressing suffering on both sides of a conflict while finding presence and calm in the mind of those tasked with bringing parties together.

Zen Buddhist priest Norman Fischer reflects on his history of helping mediation professionals through mindfulness training, supporting Ukrainian mediators during his recent Inside Out training program, and tips for practitioners to find presence in the heart of the storm during this episode of The Other Chair.



Workplace Mediation

40-Hour Conflict Resolution and Mediation Training

In this gold standard mediation training, adapted for workplace mediators, learn how to support parties working through conflict or engaging in other important conversations in a different way. 

Our participants include mediators, collaborative professionals, business consultants, executive coaches, managers and supervisors, human resources professionals, ombuds-people, non-profit staff, and other people whose work will be enhanced by increased skills in conflict resolution. 


Working Creatively with Conflict

40-Hour Basic Mediation and Conflict Resolution Training

Our flagship experiential certificate training program centered around the Understanding-Based Model. 

Realistic simulations, in which participants work through mediations from beginning to end, with coaching from our teachers, offer participants the chance to hone their skills and experience the emotional challenges faced by parties in dispute. Participants describe these different learning modes and their interplay as enjoyable, engaging, and rewarding.


2023 Training Dates


Sept. 27 & 28 and Oct. 5 - 7

West Coast - Green Gulch, CA

March 23 - 26

November 15 - 19   

East Coast - White Plains, NY

May 3 - 7

Your Next Steps:

Launching Your Understanding-Based ADR Work


You have taken a conflict resolution training and want to add consensual dispute resolution to your existing practice or start a new practice, what next?

This three-part series will help you explore your motivations, professional goals, opportunities and challenges. This will be an interactive process with exercises and briefings on practical aspects of starting and/or incorporating ADR into a practice or your work and bringing people in the door. You will leave with a concrete action plan to develop the next phase of your work.


In this interactive webinar, Gary Friedman and Kim Gordon will discuss the value and benefits of starting a peer group for mediators and ADR practitioners.

Drawing from decades of experience in conflict resolution and mediation, centered on the understanding-based model, Friedman and Gordon will share their process for forming peer groups and their foundational importance for developing mediation practices and guidance for creating excellent sources of support in collaborative professional support and self-reflection groups.


Every individual who walks into a conflict resolution process brings their style quirks and ways of relating to others. When pairs or groups form, unique patterns of interaction develop between them. How can we support a process that acknowledges the power dynamics created by these personality differences and relationship patterns and create the opportunity for parties to negotiate a sustainable agreement and possibly even change their relationship?

Join Catherine Conner and Melanie to learn about building awareness, identifying patterns, developing a process for managing internal reactions, and best practices for guiding change through personality differences.

Support the Center for Understanding in Conflict with a CUC Connect Membership and enjoy free interactive webinars, training discounts, and more!

CUC Connect Members

February Featured Webinar

When a professional is working with parties in conflict, the turmoil and tension in the room impacts the professional as well as the clients. 

Accessing our inner lives connect us with our deeper impulses that fuel our commitment to working with people in conflict – such as compassion and the search for greater self and mutual understanding.

Web  Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn  Email