VOLUME 2 NO. 3 | Fall 2016
Quarterly E-Newsletter
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Recipe for Becoming A Successful Mediator

Last week I was perusing a few articles from various journals related to mediation and negotiation and I ran across an article from Marquette University Law School entitled “Cooking Up a Deal: Negotiation Recipes for Success” by Andrea Kupfer Schneider et. al. The premise of the article asks several negotiation scholars and practitioners to outline their recipes for negotiation success. The recipes contributed were varied, humorous, and illuminating. For example, Andrea Schneider provided the following recipe:

1/3C Assertiveness
1/3C Empathy
1/3C Flexibility

  • Blend with 1/2C trustworthiness and 1/2C trustfulness
  • Add dash of charm and pinch of courage
  • Sprinkle liberally with patience and good humor

There are certainly a number of different traits, characteristics, and skills utilized by a mediator to conduct a successful mediation. Humility, strong active listening skills, empathy, openness, honesty, and confidence are just a few of the traits and skills that immediately come to mind. As I read the article, I thought “if our readers were going to create a successful mediator, what would their recipe include?”

The readership of our newsletter includes judges, volunteer mediators, attorneys, paralegals, court staff, as well as many professionals from a variety of disciplines. Would the recipes submitted by our readers look rather homogeneous in nature? Would the recipes utilize different proportions of the same ingredients? Would our readers utilize the altogether different ingredients? The more I read, the more I began to think “wouldn’t it be great to share recipes for becoming a successful mediator with our upcoming training class? If we asked our upcoming class members to draft their own recipes on the first day of training, would they alter their original recipe after completing the entire course?”

While the questions posed are intriguing, in the end, there is only one way to find out the answers. Our next training class starts on September 22, 2016. Therefore, we are asking you, our readers, "What recipe for creating a successful mediator would you like to share with the upcoming class?" 

Help us fill our Mediator Cookbook by emailing a recipe for creating a successful mediator to news@drsnorthtexas.org. We look forward to reading and learning from each recipe submitted!

Jacquelyn A. Flynt, JD
Executive Director


Rita Romaguera, Office Clerk

Rita Romaguera joined DRS North Texas in 2014 as a temporary employee who was quickly asked to take on a permanent, part-time position as office clerk for the organization. In her role, she assists callers in determining if mediation is the appropriate recourse for their dispute, archives records, files, implements projects requiring data entry, and provides support to the administrative assistant.

Valued for her outstanding work ethic throughout her life, Ms. Romaguera has had experience in a number of industry areas. Becoming a member of the DRS North Texas team has fulfilled one of her goals: to participate in new learning opportunities! Ms. Romaguera has taken basic and family mediation courses to gain a broader understanding of dispute resolution. A quick study, she also uses her prior experience as a customer service representative and added knowledge about mediation to cultivate and strengthen relationships with DRS North Texas clients and referral sources.

Her efforts set the tone for clients’ future mediation experience. An integral part of the mediation process, Rita genuinely focuses on doing a good job and creating a welcoming atmosphere for all parties, staff, and volunteers. “My bosses, fellow employees and all the volunteers truly want to help people,” she states, “and that makes this a very rewarding experience.”

Rita is admired by her co-workers for her willingness to help wherever needed, readiness to learn something new, and good sense of humor. In addition to working at DRS North Texas, Rita enjoys being outdoors with her family.

Q&A: Rita, what do you think makes the mediation process an effective method for resolving disputes?

The expertise, knowledge and ability of the mediators to be impartial. I think it is so admirable that the mediators really have a desire to want to help people in need.

Q&A: Rita, what is something you think would help communities maintain peace?

For people to realize the need to be kinder to each other and to the environment. I wish I knew how to actually ease the hate and distrust that is so abundant.

by Annette Smith


September's Basic Mediation Training has been filled! However, additional training facilitators are needed. For information on volunteering as a training facilitator on September 23 or  24, 2016 and/or October 6, 7, or 8, 2016 please contact Linda Bass at training@drsnorthtexas.org.

The next Basic Training will be held in the spring of 2017. More details will be provided in the next issue of The Olive Branch
November 4 - 5, 2016 &
November 18 - 19, 2016
*MCLEs & CEs provided

Please contact Linda Bass at training@drsnorthtexas.org or visit drsnorthtexas.org to register.

#2 Eat An Apple One Bite At A Time 

Conflicts with multiple issues and contentious parties can be overwhelming for a mediator. A good mediation strategy for managing convoluted cases is to try to get small agreements on minor issues first. Often a domino effect will ensue, and the small agreements will lead to a settlement of all issues. Next time you encounter disputes with multiple issues remember to approach the mediation the way you would when eating an apple - one bite at a time.

In addition, let's not underestimate the effectiveness of a partial agreement. A partial agreement provides parties with a foundation to build their final settlement upon. As it has been said before "a partial agreement is better than no agreement". 

Thumbs Up:
Resolving  a case with multiple issues through small agreements on minor issues.


Thumbs Up:
Reaching a partial agreement.

Community Involvement

The City of Fort Worth has invited DRS North Texas Inc. to attend their fair housing event on October 6, 2016 from 5 PM - 8 PM at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Fort Worth. DRS North Texas is delighted to be attending as a resource for alternative dispute resolution services.
Dispute Resolution Services of North Texas Inc. would like to offer individuals 50 years or better an opportunity to learn about conflict resolution as a part of healthy living. Unresolved conflicts put stress on the mind and can lower ones quality of life. 
On October 7, 2016 from 9 AM - 2 PM, staff will have a table displayed at Empowering Seniors to provide attendees with educational material on the topic of mediation. 
Copyright © 2016 Dispute Resolution Services of North Texas, Inc., All rights reserved.

Phone: (817) 877-4554 | Fax: (817) 877-4557

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