Sunday, January 15th


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Good morning and welcome to another edition of living veteran San Diego a public service presentation of the and a count San Diego radio stations and Jerry Lee. We all deal with conflict in our lives at some time or another how do you resolve conflict with civility. The national conflict resolution center helps individuals and communities resolve conflict through. Mediation training and other resources the national conflict resolutions and award and CRC. Is built on the principle that every dispute as a solution joining us this morning's national conflict resolution center director of development. Chris Paul Byrd. And NC RC divorce mediation group program manager Kim Warner welcome Chris welcome camp. Thank you very good to see again Kim it's been awhile since you on the show and it's good to be back nice to have you again in that Chris pleasure meeting you. Let's start with a little background information a refresher if if we might on the a national conflict resolution sent. Yes thank you that it national conflict resolution center is located here in San Diego. It was founded in 1983. And then there was known as the golden hill mediation center since 93 its mission and its size have grown dramatically. Two point that we really are national actually international now. The national conflict resolution senator is in nine countries. Four continents we serve six cabinet level departments. And primarily we serve the people of San Diego so. This year we're gonna. Provide services to at least 151000 people in San Diego. And that's growing each year. Now when you started. Again it was just here's San Diego you're right it started in San Diego as a community based mediation center. And what that was about and in the very beginning of kind of the awakening of mediation where let's bring people together. Trade a system where they can talk to each other through their problems and achieve a resolution that they agree on. The philosophies. And the tools in the skills of mediation. Can be used in all aspects of life so what NC RC has done. Is find applications for all of those tools and skills in all of the places in our allies where we encounter conflict. Which of course it is pretty much everywhere. There's potential for conflict in an almost all parts of our life. We don't try to avoid conflict rather who lets understand. The conflict is an opportunity to reach. Resolution to grow to change to. A move forward together. But what we need is a set of skills and tools and strategies to do that effectively. So what's what's the mission and it and CRC the mission is that the mission is to. Teach people how to communicate effectively with civility and inclusive adding. So that they can enter into conflict resolution effectively and confidently into the use those skills. And techniques in a way that strengthens our community that. Actually draws people together rather than separates us that strengthens. Our community you rather than divides us and where your offices located. Our headquarters is downtown San Diego. But we have community based centers really on throughout San Diego we have a center in city heights. We have a center for community cohesion. That we recently opened in southeast San Diego. We're also in south bay and in Oklahoma. We also provide services that the courts. And and in that way were really servers in all of sank a gallon as you mentioned everybody's got gas conflict at some point in their life. How can how can someone avoid war or resolve. Conflict and it might not be possible to avoid conflict rather win conflicts arise. How're we gonna manage that effectively and positively and in a way that is productive and constructive. And and we teach a method though we called the art of inclusive communication. And art is an acronym. It stands for a Quito. Respond respectfully. And move forward together. So a Tito is a Japanese word as a martial arts word it really is it's an attitude it's a posture it's a sense of not responding with. Force not reacting but responded it really means listening letting go of your ego listen to what the other person has to say. Do your very best to understand. What is the other person's position. That's usually what we don't do in an argument was using happening. Is right away I'm trying to convince somebody that I'm right hand and when I reached this agreement and they're coming at me with something else. On not really listening to what they're saying I'm thinking of how I'm gonna argue back my point the first step and effective. Dispute resolution is to listen for understanding of what the other person's sense doesn't mean after agree with that. But if you can read. What they're trying to convey it. You're not saying I agree with Cuba where you are saying that powerfully I understand you. That actually has an immediate effective decrease in the emotions and now we can actually talk about the substance of what's going. So the first step is to listen. Listen for understanding let go of my ego let go my need to be right then respond. Rather than reaction so I can respond. Confidently clearly. Respectfully. Rather than reacting with emotion trying to win much argument that can move us through the resolution stuff witches. Hopefully we can work together to come to a resolution that that works for both of soliciting is key listen it is essential. And usually what's missing. Usually in an argument I think this might always be true usually in an argument what we're really arguing about is I'm right and if I'm right you're wrong. Listening actually for understanding. Words first should be let me make sure I know what you're saying. What are you trying to get across and limit repeated back to you said the you know that I understand your position. That allows you to calm down a little bit to defuse the emotions a little bit and then may be prepares you to listen for me. So that I can say to you what my positions. If we're just arguing were probably not listening to each other journal now we'll kind of conflicts UC on a personal level. Well at the national conflict resolution center we're doing there literally with conflicts in all aspects of life so. We do. Provide services and media relations for conflicts that are always in two lawsuits. Or end divorces. Small claims court we provide free mediation services that are. Or train mediators are there for small claims court cases so there through were involved in litigation. But also were training employers and employees. On the conflicts that arise in the workplace that might be about gender or. Race or just styles of communication. We're also working with the police. Almost all the police agencies in Sunni are counting. On police citizen relationships how to defuse emotion when they respond to were seen. How to build relationships between the police and the communities. How to help the communities understand the police are people too they have affirmative wanna go home have a kid this got a T ball game they have the same kind of interest how can we come to understand each other. As people. We work with refugees here in San knew we work with the homeless on trying to give them communication skills. So that they might better their situation where we're from veterans. Bruce do with a unique set of the issues were really in all aspects of their community. Trying to teach skills and strategies. And then provide services that might actually. Helped them. When they find themselves in conflict in Whittier. Mediators come from. Depends on the different services there were provided and so when we're talking about. Lawsuit mediation which is a the division of the national conflict resolution senator called the West Coast resolution group. And those mediators are lawyers or retired judges. They're trained as mediators they've gone through extensive training courses either here or and other or at universities. And they usually have a long background in the practice of law or in mediation many of them mediators that serve with the court's. And in other community based services. Come from all aspects of life you don't have to be a lawyer to be a mediator. But they're trained they're certified that are knowledgeable and experienced. And so we have people from all different backgrounds who were serving as mediators. At or community centers. In those community centers from the community can submit a case to mediation. Usually for free. So there's a neighbor dispute a family dispute. A dispute with a shopkeeper in the neighborhood. Rather than filing a lawsuit. Running up costs and expense and anxiety that goes with you can go to the community center in city heights or southeast San Diego. In a trained mediator will help you resolve your construct. So is is there a cost them for the services. It depends on it depends on which kind of dispute your bringing so. For the community based media nations there's no cost. For the small claims court mediation is there's no cost. For their cases that are involved in litigation they probably have lawyers there probably are involved in a lawsuit there is a cost that goes with those. And then we have the divorce mediation group. Some of those cases or pre filing they're not yet in court and many of those cases have been filed and there are costs associated with those. So if you're in litigation. There's a charge for the mediation. If you're. Community based mediation there's no charge. I am we're gonna talk a little bit more about the divorce divorce mediation here with caimans injustice. Just a couple minutes you hold and you mentioned training. You go into a businesses in and you train. Those folks there. You hold workshops you don't you'd. We do we have several different courses that we teach throughout the year. And they start with teaching people how to communicate the two most popular and most successful courses are called the exchange. Which is a communications strategy and skill side. Of how to exchange in the conflict how to share information how to get the issues on the table in a way that's respectful and civil. The art of inclusive communication is our other most popular course. And we have others that employers and individuals. Agencies and governments. Have all taken advantage of and they're open to the public. Often they're taught as their rating school of management and UC is doing and anybody can sign up for those courses. And the schedule and information about them. Is on our website at NC RC online dot com. There also or for those who are really more interest in mediation. We're one of the largest providers of mediation training. In the region and many of the mediators in San Diego. Received their training from and CRC. So you can become a certified mediator through men's university and we have a really extensive program to teach people and train people how to be mediators. That's great now what about what kind of response are you getting from. From the folks that you view health. And what's the success rate as far as reaching agreement or you know the responses overwhelmingly positive because probably what we provide this most effective. There's a way of talking that others have not landed on the themselves so. Everybody wants to reach agreement and actually they just don't quite have the skills. Maybe to get there. Or maybe one part doesn't quite have the skills that. And maybe they need extra. Extra capacity to deal with summer's particularly emotional or particularly difficult or. Particularly dug in on their position. And we have train mediators who know exactly how to handle the situations. Overall I would say that the mediation is resolved at least 80% of the time we're doing several thousand mutations each year. Or different types of dispute resolution you cheer and that's a very high success ratio really. Gotta make you feel good will visits are good service and it and it helps everyone if you can come out of it. Having reached an agreement that you can live with. And probably quicker and probably less expensively. Then it was a little ones done out now Kim you RB a program management for and CRC's divorce mediation group something that probably could have used. Myself when I went through my divorce what's what's the difference between what you do in NCA RC and what to court mediators do. Well that's a common misconception that the courts. Provide mediators at divorce mediation group which is part of MCI RC. We provide mediation services to get someone completely through their divorce from start to finish. The biggest difference between mediating a divorce and litigating it affords them by litigating I mean not necessarily being represented by an attorney. But by appearing in court and asking the court to make orders for U. So the biggest difference between mediating a divorce and litigating a divorce is that in mediation. The parties. Are in control. Not only are they in control of their agreements and the language that makes up those agreements. But more importantly they are in control of the pace at which they move through the process. If you operate your divorce in the courts in San Diego and you have to appear before a judge after judge to make orders for you you are literally looking at months of waiting time. To even see the judge. Before that judge can hear both sides and make a decision concerning the custody of your children spousal support child support division of assets. What the heck we going to do with that family residence there is months and months of waiting time because the courts are so backlog. Whereas in mediation if you decide to come in and let's say your first session as on a Monday. And you decide that a custody plan is the most important thing that you have to work out you could conceivably work out that custody plan in one session of mediation. Have an agreement drafted and filed that agreement with the court your literally completing within a matter of days or weeks what would take months to do in court. So you are in charge of the pace at which youth at which you move through the process some people. Are all business and they wanna move through it very quickly they're very efficient they get their documents in order they provide all the things that we ask him to bring to each session. They are on top of it. Other couples for whatever reasons decide to take longer to complete the process. Whether it's because they have other things like life happenings and since they might be selling the family residence. Their children might be graduating from college maybe there's a grandchild on the way may be there's an illness in the family whatever it is they decided to. To run their divorce. Around their life their their life comes first and they do their divorce around their life they're choosing to operated that way they're not at the mercy of court deadlines. There's no judge breathing down their neck there are no orders they have to follow from the judge. They are doing it all of their own. So I think that's one of the biggest difference between litigating in mediating is the parties are in control. They decide on their agreements they decide on specifically how they wanted to buy their assets. They decide specifically how they wanna spend time with their children the court is down by very very strict rules as to the jurisdiction they have to make orders concerning the support. Custody in division of assets. I always liken it to the court having a little tiny square like a little tying three inch square that those of the boundaries they have. Whereas in mediation you had a great big giant or way you can walk through. To craft and create the agreements that are specific just to your family and your children that the court does not have the jurisdiction to do. If you don't know what you gonna do with your house. And a divorce if you can't reach an agreement on what to do with the family residence the court is gonna Ortiz to sell that family residence. That's all they can do that with their jurisdiction includes in mediation. The parties can come up with a creative arrangement as to how one party would be able to buy the other party out. Maybe they're going to trade the equity in the house for another asset. Maybe they're going to postpone buying the other out until May be one party finishes college if you get a better job to be able to afford to buy that party. The idea is you can be as creative vision like. And put anything into your agreements that you like that works for your family court doesn't have the jurisdiction of the time to do that. And then the recommendation that you give you give that to the to the court we we do not make recommendations not recommending now are our mediators who are all family law attorneys the function that they serve is that of eight professional third party neutral. We bring the parties together with a mediator we help the parties reach their own agreements we are not beholden to the court. In any sense we don't make recommendations of the court we cannot order our clients do to produce documents to reach some kind of agreement we can't order anyone to come to mediation. We don't have that authority. We are neutral third parties and our job to mediators job I should say is to facilitate the discussion so the parties can reach their agreements which is then eventually filed in court. As part of their final divorce settlement we don't communicate with the court's okay accuracy when I got divorced. It was ordered by the judge that we go to mediation right and it was their recommendation and the judge then. In most cases goes along with what whenever me right he's asking about for a custody. Yeah yeah that's that's part of and the court services that the parties can agree and a parenting plan and they need the courts help. The first stop you're going to make is to the family court services counselor who will talk to the both parties. Who interviewed and get a feel for what's going on with the parties that they will make a recommendation to the catch. Concerning the custody of those children that is and the court services counselors function. They are part of the court system we are not part of the court system we don't make recommendations to the judge. So what are some of the benefits and you've already been explained some of them as far as what what you do as opposed to. And and other types of mediation of some of the benefits like using your service probably one of the one of the most important benefits to people is the cost effectiveness of mediation as opposed to litigation. When the parties litigate with the with attorneys that represented by counsel. They can spend and this is not an exaggeration they can spend tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars litigating complex divorce. In other words that money that is bleeding out during litigation. Can be kept in the family can be kept for it for your child's college education can be kept to be able to to buy a new house to. To fund the events that go on in your life. So I would say besides the parties having control of of the decisions. Cost effectiveness is probably one of the main reasons that people seek out mediation in the first place another benefit of mediation is. That it's easier on families it's it's easier on the parties when their mediating committee because it is a cooperative process. It is easier on the children because what the children are experiencing are two parents who. Although this is. It's a very sad and very arm unfortunate event divorce and any family can be traumatic. But if the kids who witnessed the parents cooperating and operating on a civil plane as opposed to a contentious. Mood throughout the family get. It just helps the kids heal that much faster and it helps the party's heal and move forward with their lives. Another benefit of a mediation is what happens in a mediation session is confidential. So in other words when your sitting with a mediator and you're trying to decide what to do about a particular issues let's say child support. And the idea behind mediation is you brainstorm you throw out proposals one party throws out of proposal the other party response to that proposal by either accepting it or counter proposing. The idea is eventually you moved closer and closer and closer to the center and you have an agreement. What we hope to Foster in the mediation session is the spirits of it is that spirit of brainstorming throwing out a proposal even if maybe it may not work thrown out anyway and see if you can do something with it. The idea being that in the event that you that the parties fall out of mediation which means. Mediation doesn't work and they do end up litigating that anything that was said in that mediation session cannot be used later on. In a court of law so in other words anything that seven mediation sessions confidential and the judge cannot. Cannot use that as evident not in any court proceeding so that's that's. The idea is that you are free to make proposals and to throw something out and maybe. Try an idea that maybe no one has thought of before even if it doesn't work you don't wanna be hampered by the fact that you think that I don't wanna say anything at this might come back again later it can't and. And you also you also as part of you mediation service staunch also help. Those before they actually started divorced and get to help them and make that decision or at least well we don't even through it. We help them through it normally by the time the parties reach us they've made that decision they made that decision they made the painful decision to move forward with divorce. And they're ready to start and the road to completion. Occasionally we will have people coming in who just want to see what divorce would look like. Maybe they're working on their marriage made there on the fans may be there they reached a point in time where they need to decide. Are we going to stick with this are we gonna go our separate ways and wonder what divorce would look like. What would happen to our property how much would this cost us what what happened to our pension what are some of the things we would have to do with our kids I wonder who. We're gonna go to find out what it would look like and that's exactly what we can do. We can do that in consultation with me or they can actually meet with the mediator. And explore. With all of the assets and all the deaths that. You know that you folks haven't. The age of your children and this is probably what we're looking at you would probably end up with this much property would probably end up with this. And here's what it would look like if you move forward with divorce that can often be a very. Be very powerful and helping the parties decide if they wanna move forward or if it just looks a little too bleak and made it a work on the marriage a little bit longer before they make that leap. Where we're almost out of time I had I didn't wanna ask you about you do some not some workshops while you have thank you a thing called that divorce on a one yes we had there are two ways to freeways that people can get information about divorce. One of them is to go to our workshop called to force one a one and divorced when no one is held on 1 Saturday morning each month from nine to twelve. Where partnering with National University to use their campus locations for a workshop. So if you go on line you'll see the entire year we have all the workshops already signed for instance the one for January takes place on January 21. And it's going to be at the Le mesa campus of National University. If you come to divorce on line you'll meet one of our mediators you'll meet a family law attorney. You'll meet a certified divorce financial analyst who are people who specialize in two worst financial issues you'll meet me and it's a three hour workshop who have. Get lots of information cast lots of questions and again that is free. I also offer free consultations in the office to people who are exploring the option of mediation. They come and meet with me I shelled in the forms that are filed a show them in America settlement agreement looks likely talk about. Terms such as the six month waiting period and what this community property in separate property what does. Legal custody and physical custody just kind of a way to get your feet wet as you're about to embark on their divorce hearing. So both of those are free and they want to consultation give me a call be happy to set it up. Or come to our workshop all the information is on and CRC online dot com click on the divorce mediation group linked. And all of this there. And that you have a a big event coming up in April. It is your 29 annual peace maker awards dinner tell us about that yeah you're right thank you. You know NC are seeing is a nonprofit organization. And so a lot of what we depend on his fund raising in the peacemaker award dinner is one of our major fund raising efforts. And at that event each year we celebrate those nationally and locally. Who are doing the work of peacemaking using these skills in creative and powerful and effective ways. So on April 8 of this year. Will be the 29 annual award of honor of the Southern Poverty Law Center as the national peacemaker relief for their emphasis on the the teaching tolerance program which is a school based curriculum. That they have implemented around the country. It's based on the premise that people are not born racist rather than a learner racism. And so if we could reach the children at a younger age with a teaching tolerance school based curriculum. Then they can grow to be civil and inclusive and more effective members of society. Without racism the local peacemaker award is gonna go to a group there is also working in the schools here in San Diego. Called Rachel's challenge. And it's an anti bullying campaign in the schools that is very very effective and we're very excited about it bill and Lori Walton will be honored. With a peacemaker in philanthropy award and it's going to be a great event music have about 600 people. And we're really looking forward to the anguish of being held April 8 at the height seventeen. Lowell and struck down and the proceeds of that really go to. The more exciting work there were doing in the community so for instance that we are on most of the university campuses here in the region. With what we call they two gallons in campus civility project. Each year we trained 101000 students on the exchange and the art of inclusive communication. On the university campuses recognizing that the campus. Is one of the most diverse places in the country at a young age with a lot of energy and that's an environment that can lead to a great deal of conflict and tension. San Diego State UCSD. Cal state San Marcos. Arizona State San Diego City College UCLA is about to come on line. And so this program is expanding where we're teaching students especially student leaders. About skills for effective. And civil communication. So that they grow into being effective adults who are able to handle conflict better the other thing that were very excited about is what we call avoiding the pipeline to prison. We're partnering with all the law enforcement agencies in the county. The sheriff the police the school police the district attorney the public defender. The Probation Department so that when youth gets arrested for a crime even up to a felony nonviolent felonies. They can get referred terminal are alternative system which is called restorative community conference in instead of being punished and sent to juvenile hall. They come to a restorative justice program. That requires them to accept responsibility for what they did. To sit with the person they harmed and the community that they harmed and to hear and acknowledge and accept responsibility for it. And then the community coming together to fuel those harms both for the offender the victim and the community that has suffered. That program we started a pilot project just two years ago it has been wildly successful. 98%. Completion rate. And of their youth they go through or restorative justice program. There's only a 5% recidivism rate mean. 5% get arrested later compared to 33%. Of those who gets sent to juvenile hall in the normal criminal justice system so of this program is an enormous cost savings. It cost 9500 dollars to prosecuted. A 104000. Dollars to incarcerate them because 12100 dollars to put them through our restorative justice model. And so this program. Is really wildly effective here in San Diego. And we're very excited about expanding that and for cost savings but most importantly it helps people that strengthens communities and it makes everything work better. And it sounds like a great program. Now we have about a minute left before we wrap up any advice. That you can give someone who's listening on this morning who might be dealing with some kind of conflict with a personal. In the workforce. Divorce. Apologist restate where we started listening. Listen for understanding. And then practice this killer repeating what you understood make sure you're both on the same page listen and then respond but not react. Sir responding is to do with the substance not with the emotion. And try to find a way to move forward together. Anything else from you can't I think that if anyone out there who is considering divorce. What my personal goal is is for anyone considering divorce. They were automatically consider the option of mediation. Someone as many people as possible to know what the option is to understand the option and to know that it's available. And your knee jerk response does not have to be to go off the court hire attorneys and asked to judge make decisions for you. When 99.9. Percent of the time you and your spouse are capable of doing you know when you're down and saving your family money. And heartache and getting it done in a timely manner. And again your website. NCA RC online dot com and can people get tickets for Europe peacemaker. Awards dinner actual website you're right that's right that's a perfect place to go. Okay an end they wanna help you out with you mission to make a donation they can do that they're just here our secure online and not all right and you guys on social media at all. We are were on Twitter and war on FaceBook. Chris send death Kim thank you very much for being on the show us Kim of a pleasure seeing you again and hands in your missing you now pleasure meeting you thank you for all that you do. And down the national council resolutions and accused the press. That concludes another addition of living veteran San Diego the opinions expressed on living better San Diego do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the staff and management. Of the and it comes San Diego radio stations episodes of living there in San Diego are available on the station's web site. Join me next week when my guest will be from the San Diego County taxpayers association until then I'm Gary Lee have a great week.