Article  |  Volume 10

Using Mindfulness Practice to Work with Emotions

by Deborah Calloway
The most important point to understand is that working with and understanding our own emotional reactions is an essential prerequisite to working skillfully with emotionally charged individuals in disputes. Training in “mediation techniques” designed to help us recognize and work with emotions in the mediation and negotiation context will not work unless we have practiced working with our own emotions consistently in our ordinary lives. Otherwise, in the heat of the moment during a negotiation or mediation, we are likely to forget every technique we have learned. Habitual patterns of behavior simply take hold. This article seeks to provide some mindfulness practices that readers can use to work with their own emotions in their ordinary lives. This is an essential prerequisite to working with others' emotions in the context of dispute resolution. These practices are extremely effective when applied to relationships with close family, friends, and work colleagues. If we work with these practices regularly in all aspects of our lives, we will not need any special techniques to work with emotions in the context of dispute resolution. The same skills apply wherever we encounter conflict, regardless of the context.
10 Nev. L. J. 338 (2010)