As a kid I had a keen eye for social rules and norms. I was never part of the “in” crowd, but I also wasn’t totally on the outside. My nine year old describes this dynamic as a dart board, where a ten is the “it” kid, and a one is completely on the outside. I am somewhere in the middle depending upon context and audience. Navigating the middle-ground ironically allows my intuitive skills to thrive.
My study of social dynamics in my youth turned to formal study of communication principles and practices as an adult. I want to be able to explain the communication dynamics of what is going on all around me in all kinds of interactions. It is my feeling that if I can label it then I am a step closer to managing it.
My communication research and my certification as a mediator are the genesis for this blog. Over the last two years, I interviewed more than thirty mediators practicing dispute resolution in diverse situations and professions. I asked questions about why they do what they do, and their answers provide rich insight for translating mediation practices into everyday communication. This blog is as much about mediator tools and tips for effective communication as it is about making civil discourse something tangible in everyday interactions. Join me as I explore how to make civility part of daily life.