Author Archive

John Curtis

John Curtis

John Curtis is a successful lawyer with over 15 years’ experience in litigation focusing on Sport Law and Mediation Services. In addition, he is an expert in providing engaging, hands-on Conflict Resolution Training including Mediation Training, Negotiation Skills Training and Conflict Coach Training

Is Loss Aversion Keeping You From Realizing Gains in Negotiations?

John Curtis, .

While a fallen hero, Lance Armstrong perfectly describes the theory of loss aversion: “I like to win, but more than anything, I can’t stand this idea of losing.” The pleasure we derive from winning is not as great as the pain we feel from losing, so we act to minimize and avoid loss. This can impede our ability to make rational, unbiased decisions. Why? How can we start to focus on the gains?

Is Conflict Often Caused by Perceived Unfairness?

John Curtis, .

You are sitting on a park bench and see someone find $10. Too bad you didn’t see it first! That person asks if you want to split the money. If they offer to split it 50-50, many of us would accept, or perhaps decline because “finders’ keepers.” What if the finder suggests you split the money 90-10. That is not fair! That person wants to cheat us! Forget the fact that a 90-10 split would give you $1 you didn’t have before; forget the fact that the other person found the money. It’s not the facts that matter; it’s the perception. Conflict is often caused by perceptions of what is fair and what is not and what we perceive the other person’s intentions are. In the workplace, managers and supervisors may be causing conflict and not even be aware of it.

Preparing for Facilitation

John Curtis, .

Groups in conflict; a few members spreading discord to the entire team; passive team members perpetuating problems; active team members recruiting others to “their” side. Whatever the specific nature of a group’s conflict, it is essential that it be handled effectively – and sooner rather than later. Letting it fester only erodes morale and productivity. Group facilitation can help address the underlying issues that run through the behaviours that are affecting the work environment. While time is of the essence, it is critical that all parties be prepared before setting foot in the facilitation room.

What is the Difference Between Facilitation and Mediation?

John Curtis, .

What’s the difference between facilitation and mediation? They are both means to an end – but the journey to get there is different. While the terms are often used interchangeably, there are clear differences between these two alternative dispute resolution techniques and clear instances in which one or the other is better suited for the job. But because workplace conflict does not always follow straight lines, it can be helpful to create an approach that combines the best of both mediation and facilitation.