Here are definitions of a few commonly used terms, and where you can read more about them in my books or online articles.

Mediation is simply an informal conversation designed to solve a problem.  What works best in solving difficult problems is for the conversation to take place in the presence of someone who is outside the problem, yet has some experience solving similar problems.  Mediation is voluntary, conversations are confidential, and decisions are reached by consensus.

Dialogue is generally a facilitated conversation between people with different viewpoints, often working in small groups, with the aim of increasing their understanding of each other and the issues, and sometimes reaching consensus on recommendations for future action.

Conflict Resolution Systems Design helps couples, families, groups and organizations analyze the chronic sources of their conflicts and see them not as isolated incidents, but as parts of a system that can be addressed in more than one way, using diverse, integrated, interest-based processes such as informal problem solving, dialogue, mediation and collaborative negotiation that encourage listening, learning, and improved communications and relationships.

Forgiveness means releasing yourself from the burden of your own false expectations.  

Reconciliation means being able to be open hearted in the other person's presence, without anger or discomfort, or feeling distant, ashamed or vulnerable.. See the chapter on The Magic of Forgiveness in Mediating Dangerously.  

Arbitration is a somewhat informal private trial in which opposing parties submit an issue for decision to an independent arbitrator who renders a decision that may either be advisory or final and binding. 

Conflict Revolution is an effort to change the way we handle conflict and supporting a comprehensive, fundamental transformation in the way we argue, disagree, and resolve our differences as a species.



Words do not label things already there. Words are like the knife of the carver. They free the idea, the thing, from the general formlessness of the outside.

~ Anonymous Eskimo Carver