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It Feels Like MAGIC
At the heart of dispute resolution is mediation. When students learn the language of mediation and put it into action through dialogue, it feels like MAGIC. This is the reason that MAGIC is proudly shown on our T-shirts with our motto, “Discover the Mediator in You.” Every student mediator learns how careful nonviolent language can help disarm conflicts that could result in violence, and how our step-by-step mediation training allows people who were almost ready to kill each other to see each others’ points of view and search for solutions. Every mediator learns to listen for that MAGICAL moment in a mediation where it seems to take off on its own and rushes to resolution.
Give Someone a Fish… It’s like that old adage. “Give someone a fish, they eat for a day. Teach someone to fish, they eat for the rest of their lives.” After the UCLA student mediators train at one of the partner schools, they stay on to help the school develop or expand its own peer mediation program and often become part of the Institute’s training staff. This way our students not only give back something to the schools, but they help the younger students – and the whole school community – learn alternatives for life.
Dispute Resolution, Step-by-Step
Our training follows the tried and true methods used successfully by the City Attorney’s Dispute Resolution Program. The acronym for it is called ITUNA. (©1994 William C. Hobbs*) Student mediators learn the “I” (Introduction) by breaking the ice and introducing themselves and the disputants. Next they learn the “T” (Talk) by allowing everyone ample time to get their side of the dispute out on the table without interruption. Next they learn the “U” (Understanding) by skillfully helping the disputants to really understand the other’s point of view. Next they learn the “N” (Negotiation) between disputants to settle important details of their conflict, and finally reaching the “A” (Agreement) that is written down by the disputants and signed.
UCLA students bringing conflict resolution to LA. schools.
*ITUNA is used by permission of William C. Hobbs ©1994 for education and non-profit use by students and instructors. All other uses are by permission, for a fee by the copyright holder.