Posted by: CoRe Clinic | March 6, 2018

The Power of Podcasting and Reflective Skills – March 6th

Tomorrow CoRe will host back-to-back sessions for our Speaker Series and our New Mediators Group. Join us for The Power of Podcasting and Reflective Skills Practice with Donna Soules!

The Power of Podcasting (4:30-6:00)
C.D. Saint and Amanda Semenoff of Overthinking Conflict

1514706779673NOTE: These sessions will be held on the 4th Floor of KPMG, 777 Dunsmuir Street.

Podcasting is growing quickly with over 40% of adults in Canada regularly listening to podcasts. However, Dispute Resolution is dramatically underrepresented as listeners and creators when compared to similar fields. Help us shift those numbers and support some of the great work already being done, while using this new space to enrich DR practice.

Don’t worry if you, like 30% of Canadians, have never heard of podcasting. We will start with a brief introduction to what they are and how to find them, share favourites in the field, and even talk about setting up your own podcast. Join Amanda and C.D. as they explore the many facets of podcasting and how it can enhance your dispute resolution practice.

ATTENDANCE: The session will be held at KPMG’s downtown Vancouver office (777 Dunsmuir Street, 4th floor). RSVP to confirm your seat.

LIVESTREAM: (Please note: We are testing a new encoder, so please do let us know by email if you experience difficulties in viewing the livestream.)

SLIDES: Livestream viewers may access presentation slides here.

Attendance at the speaker series is free for CoRe series subscribers and volunteers, $20 for others. Pay ahead by etransfer or bring a cheque or exact change to pay at the door. CoRe annual speaker series subscriptions are available for $50 at the door or email us to receive a PayPal invoice. We ask livestream attendees to consider either subscribing to the full series, or donating to CoRe.

And Stay for the New Mediators Group session at 7:00 p.m.!

REFLECTIVE SKILLS with Donna Soules (7:00-9:00)

In this workshop, Donna Soules will lead participants through quick refreshers, games, and role-plays to brush up our skills on:

+Intentional Questioning

The format will include short summaries of each reflective skill followed by active participation and coaching.

To prepare for the session, we ask 2 things of you:
  1. Please think of a scenario you have experienced to work on in roleplays
  2. Take a listen to Overthinking Conflict’s episodes on Paraphrasing, Questions, and Reframing.

If you are not attending the Speaker Series, please arrive by 6:50pm as the building is locked afterhours and we will have to let you up.

donna2013Donna Soules, Cert. ConRes., MA (Conflict Resolution), has been a trainer and mediator in private practice since 1993. She specializes in workplace, non-profit agency, family, custody/access, school conflict and Aboriginal issues. She is also an instructor at Malaspina University-College in Nanaimo. Donna is a Mediate BC Civil Roster mediator and is principal at Soules Consulting.

Tickets are available here. Remember: Subscribers to the CoRe Speaker Series can join the New Mediators Group for an additional $25. This fee entitles subscribers to attend all New Mediators Group events through December 2018 without additional fee.

Posted by: CoRe Clinic | February 14, 2018

Theressa Etmanski joins us today at 4:30!

Join us this afternoon at KPMG, 777 Dunsmuir (11th floor) to learn about Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Theressa EtmanksiRefugee lawyer Theressa Etmanski will share insights from her graduate research on the documentation of sexual violence committed against Rohingya women in Myanmar amidst the military’s campaign of ethnic cleansing, with the view of exploring remedies and interventions to the conflict.
Accounts of sexual violence in situations of violent conflict are all too common. While international law has moved beyond the view that these violations are inevitable “spoils of war”, instead recognizing them as prosecutable crimes, it remains rare for survivors to obtain justice. International politicking, investigatory bias, and evidentiary gaps are often to blame.

However, early and systemic documentation of these abuses has the potential to disrupt this trend, by providing an evidence-base for national and international legal, diplomatic, or humanitarian interventions. The presentation will discuss key considerations when documenting sexual violence in conflict.

ATTENDANCE: The session will be held at KPMG’s downtown Vancouver office (777 Dunsmuir Street, 11th floor).


Livestream attendees may wish to download Theressa’s slides here.  Please note that Theressa’s talk will not be recorded for future online viewing due to the sensitivity of the subject matter.

Attendance at the speaker series is free for CoRe members and volunteers, $20 for others. Pay ahead online at or bring a cheque or exact change to pay at the door. CoRe annual memberships for 2018 are available for $50 at the door or at

Posted by: CoRe Clinic | January 22, 2018

Integrity in Mediation

In September 2017, Jenifer Crawford offered a “speed-geeking” contemplation Integrity in Mediation. The video of her talk has been incredibly popular, and Jenifer has kindly provided this more detailed summary of her thoughts on the topic.

“Integrity” is a powerful word in our society.  It describes a state of being that most of us aspire to be.  It can also describe the wholeness or completeness of a thing or process.  In my view, as mediators we need to ensure that we demonstrate integrity in our role as mediators and also ensure that our mediation process itself has integrity.

My intention is to outline how we can

  1. demonstrate integrity in our role as mediator;
  2. ensure integrity in our mediation process; and
  3. enjoy the advantages of mediating with integrity.

Integrity as a Mediator

Many of us associate personal integrity with honesty, morality and ethical behaviors.  Indeed the usual definition of integrity is “The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness”. provides the following synonyms for integrity:  honesty, probity, rectitude, honor, good character, principle(s), ethics, morals, righteousness, morality, virtue, decency, fairness, scrupulousness, sincerity, truthfulness, trustworthiness.

It is easy to see how the qualities of integrity tie into our role as mediators.  So what are some of the ways that you can demonstrate integrity in Mediation?

  1. The top of the list in definitions about integrity is always honesty. Demonstrating honesty is more than being truthful.  It includes being sincere, genuine, frank and forthright in communications.  To do so,
    • Don’t pretend to have knowledge about the subject matter if you don’t
    • Be awareness of your own biases
    • Ensure that your words and actions are consistent
    • Be authentic.
  2. Create and adhere to your own set of moral and ethical values, beliefs and principals as they relate to mediation. One can describe a person as having ethical integrity to the extent that the individual’s actions, beliefs, methods, measures and principles all derive from a single core group of values.  This requires self-analysis – what are the fundamental beliefs, values and biases that you live by and thus bring with you to mediation?   For example:  client autonomy, self-determination, impartiality, independence, tolerance, neutrality, lack of judgment, conflict of interest, respect, justice, fairness, social responsibility, do no harm.
  3. Be intentional in how you apply your values, beliefs and principals in your role as mediator. This includes understanding how they impact your behaviour, your words and your thought processes.  You need to be aware of how your words and actions reflect your personal beliefs principles and values to others.  The natural extension of that is you need to ensure that your words and actions are in fact consistent with the values, beliefs and principals you claim to hold.  In other words, be aware and be wary of how your words and behaviours impact others.
  4. Tied into having an understanding of your values, beliefs and principals is also reflecting on how are you able to account for discrepancies and manage information that might alter those beliefs? Part of being accountable to those you serve is demonstrating a willingness to adjust your values when you receive new information or to maintain consistency in your presentation and handling of a matter.
  5. Be consistent and reliable. Individuals who come to mediation to resolve conflict are looking for someone they can trust.  Consistency in presentation develops trust.  If you present as calm and empathetic on one moment and frustrated or impatient the next you are not being consistent.  The same is true from one mediation session to the next; in one on one meetings and in group sessions.  Decide who you want to be in mediation and present a consistent character each and every time you mediate, regardless of what might be happening in your personal life or outside the mediation room.  And remember, many of us live and work in small communities (be they geographical or social).  If you don’t live the rest of your life consistently with what you present in mediation, you will not be seen as credible or living with integrity.
  6. Be transparent. This requires communication about what you are doing and why you are doing it.  It also requires you to be prepared to admit to mistakes or limitations in your ability to assist the parties.
  7. Be competent. Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses as a mediator and ensure you have the right skill set to help the parties.  If not, be sufficient engaged in your local mediation community so that you can refer the parties on to another practitioner who is better suited to their needs.
  8. Finally, be humble. The mediation is not about you.  Always remember that you are there in the service of others.

Integrity of the Mediation Process

As mentioned, in addition to describing the personal qualities of an individual, Integrity also refers to the condition of a thing or process and in this context the word is often defined as “unity, wholeness and/or soundness of construction” or the “state of being whole and undivided”.  In meeting the needs of our clients, it is important that we develop a mediation process that is complete and sound and which is capable of meeting their needs and which provides a safe place (personal, physical, emotional, spiritual) to resolve conflict.

In order to develop a process that has integrity, there are many matters you can consider.

  1. Create a framework that is appropriate to the dispute and stick to it. In doing so, remember that not every mediation needs to be or should be managed in the same way.
  2. Ensure that your framework is cohesive and contains all the elements necessary to ‘make a whole’. In other words, does your process contain all elements necessary for the parties to bring a matter to resolution?  Think about how those elements interact or work together to move the parties forward?  It helps to take a holistic approach to creating your framework, meaning:
    • Be flexible to meet the needs of the parties, but remember that they are coming to you as an expert to create a process that will allow them to manage their conflict in a safe and effective way
    • Ensure that the process applies to everyone equally – there should be no arbitrary or unwarranted exceptions for persons or groups
    • Once you have a plan – execute the plan.
  3. Create ground rules and use your best efforts to ensure they are enforced. These might include matters such as acting in good faith, full disclosure, listening actively, respect in language and behavior, and confidentiality.
  4. Value people’s time and resources. This means be on time, stick to agreed upon time frames and provide value for monies spent by your clients in retaining you to assist them.
  5. Ensure your process is fair and that it is seen to be fair by the parties. Is everyone treated equally?  Does everyone have the same opportunity to participate?  Are you able to manage actual or perceived power imbalances?
  6. Ensure that you complete what you begin. Understand that once you embark on this process with participants, you are in for the long haul.  Keep your promises in respect of process, timing and reporting.  Have a method of ending the process if it is not working and be prepared to refer clients to other resources or processes
  7. Ensure you review your frameworks and process from time to time. Be open to feedback positive and negative and don’t get locked into “how you do things”.  Be prepared to look at what works and doesn’t, and adjust your process accordingly.

Advantages of integrity

There are many advantages that flow from demonstrating integrity in your role as mediator and in your mediation process.  In that regard, mediating with integrity:

  1. Builds trust in the mediation which is a predictor of success in outcomes.
  2. Creates a positive experience for your clients, regardless of whether they are successful in resolving the dispute.
  3. Builds your reputation as a mediator and will lead to growth in your mediation practice.
  4. Enhances your own personal sense of self-esteem and satisfaction with your employment.

Jen CrawfordJenifer Crawford is a Member of CoRe’s Board of Directors. She is a lawyer and mediator in Kamloops, BC. Her legal practice emphasizes personal injury.  As a mediator, Jenifer’s practice is wide-ranging: she is a member of Mediate BC’s Civil Roster, the Family Roster, and the Child Protection Roster

Posted by: CoRe Clinic | January 16, 2018

President’s Message for 2018

Happy New Year!  Welcome to 2018.

Each year I start out this post by identifying a predominant theme in the previous year’s activities as a means of reflecting back over recent events.  While the theme in recent years seems to have have been  “change”, in 2017 CoRe’s theme appears to be growth!

Our Board has added three new members: CD Saint, Amanda Semenoff, and Lauren Florko.  We are looking forward to the ideas and energy that each of these members are going to bring to our Board – especially given the many projects that we have on the go in 2018!

Theressa EtmanksiOur Speakers Series has grown since its introduction as an opportunity to discuss ideas and skills relating to dispute resolution.  Our first Speaker Event for the year will be on Tuesday, February 13th: Theressa Etmanski will be speaking about Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict.  Our full 2018 Series will be incredibly diverse:  from “The Power of Podcasting for Peacemakers” to a workshop on Mentoring, this year’s Speakers Series offers a wealth of information about current thinking and practices in conflict resolution.

CoRe’s New Mediators Group also continues to develop this year.  An initiative which began in 2017, the New Mediators Group explores the needs and interests of its members and then plans events, discussion groups, practice groups, etc. for new mediators looking for advice and opportunities to grow their practices.  Some of the upcoming events for this group include two skills development sessions in March and a session on presenting on conflict resolution topics at the beginning of April.  Check out our schedule of upcoming events here.

Our CoRe Writers Group started off 2018 with a joint sessions with the New Mediators Group on writing about conflict resolution topics.  The members of the CoRe Writers Group led a discussion on how to get started on writing projects and opportunities for publication.  If you are interested, we meet weekly to write on various ConRes topics.  If you want to be notified of upcoming meetings, please email us at  And if you have a great idea for a ConRes blog topic, please also feel free to email us about publication on our blog!

CoRe has also continued its development and work on a variety of community-based projects within, too.

  • Our Board Members Fazal Bhimji and Carrie Gallant continue their work on Say Salaam: Responses to Islamaphobia. Fazal will be travelling to Ontario in the New Year to host training.
  • Our New Board Member CD Saint has been working on a program with CoRe so that we can again offer sliding-scale mediation to those in need. (Please note that this program is still in development.)
  • Sarah Swan continues to offer a useful round-up of notable articles and writings relating to conflict resolution topics on our blog – Conflict Resolution, Lately.

We are so looking forward to what 2018 brings in terms of further growth of our work and development and are looking forward to seeing each of you at one or more of our events!

Jacqueline Fehr 2012Best wishes for 2018!


Jacqueline Fehr is President of CoRe Conflict Resolution Society.

Posted by: CoRe Clinic | January 11, 2018

New Mediators Group & Writers Group Joint Meeting

Happy 2018! We are excited to start off our year on Saturday, January 13th at 1:00 p.m. with joint meeting of the New Mediators Group and the CoRe Writers Group.

Who should attend?

This session is for everyone who is considering writing about conflict resolution topics in any way!

Maybe you’d like to know how and where to find the audience you want for a “think piece” on a specialized area of practice? Or you want to build profile and credibility in a specific community? Or you have an amazing idea of a children’s picture book/web series/novel/etc. that incorporates ConRes themes?

Members of the CoRe Writers Group will lead a discussion on how to get started on your project(s) on January 13th. We’ll also share our experiences of writing.

This is an opportunity for anyone interested in learning more about writing. You do not need to be a member of the New Mediators Group to attend, although we will pay special attention to the needs of new mediators.

NOTE: Bring your laptop or other writing implements! We will take some time for focused writing, too!

LOCATION: KPMG, 777 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver

ATTENDANCE: Weekend attendance at KPMG means that you MUST rsvp to ensure you get in to the building. Arrive between 12:50 and 13:00 for admission. Late arrivals must have rsvp’d to be admitted. RSVP:

This session is FREE and open to everyone interested in writing & conflict resolution.


We will be announcing our full Speaker Series schedule and New Mediators Group schedule shortly. For now, please save the following dates!

Speakers’ Series (all sessions begin at 4:30 at KPMG)

  • February 13th – Theressa Etmanski (Topic TBA)
  • March 6th – CD Saint & Amanda Semenoff (The Power of Podcasting for Peacemakers)
  • April 3rd – Wendy Lakusta plus guests (Mentoring Workshop: Best Practices for Mentoring Before, During, and After Co-Mediations)
  • May 15th – Sharon Sutherland plus guests (Supporting Client Voice)
  • June 4th – Speed Geeking about Conflict Resolution

New Mediators’ Group (sessions begin at 7:00 p.m. Most will be held at KPMG, but please check final announcements to be sure)

  • March 6th – Skills development session with Donna Soules (Details TBA)
  • March 28th – Skills Development session with Gordon Sloan (Details TBA)
  • April 12th – “Presenting on Conflict Resolution Topics: From Proposal Writing to Presentation Follow-up” with Sharon Sutherland (7:00-9:00, KPMG)
Posted by: isarahswan | December 27, 2017

Conflict Resolution, Lately

A mostly-weekly round-up of notable articles and writings related to conflict resolution topics, by Sarah Swan.

Navigating Negotiation Theories:

Arbitrators and International Conventions:

Fairness in Online Dispute Resolution:

Awareness of Alternative Dispute Resolution Programs:

Ontario’s first online dispute resolution tribunal is up and running:

Dr. Sarah L. Swan (JSD, LLM, JD, BA) is a Law Teaching Fellow and Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia Law School. 

Have a suggestion for Conflict Resolution, Lately?  Please email with “Conflict Resolution, Lately” as the subject line.

Posted by: CoRe Clinic | December 6, 2017

Ethics Workshop – December 6th


Online participants please call in. We are experiencing tech difficulties that will preclude our Zoom connection.

Due to tech issues at our end, we are using a phone call-in.  Please ideal-in to:

+1 (604) 673-4457 (CA)           English (Vancouver) 
+1 (844) 499-8690 (CA)           English (other Canada) 
+1 (514) 840-2670 (CA)           French (Canada) 
Conference ID: 9234907

We are in progress.



Looking at the Big Picture: Ethics in Conflict Resolution Workshop

YukicarrieCarrie Gallant and Yuki Matsuno will be leading a two-hour Ethics workshop tomorrow (Wednesday, December 6th) at 4:30 p.m. Join them live at KPMG (11th floor, 777 Dunsmuir Street) for the best experience of this workshop. Email to confirm you spot.

NOTE: Please bring your laptop or tablet to this session. You will have wifi access to complete a short online exercise as an element of the workshop.

Livestream attendance is available through Zoom. If possible, we encourage you to sign in using computer audio, but back-up phone numbers are supplied in case you do not have a strong connection. Please DO have a phone available: the presenters will ask you to join a conference call at a different number during the session for small group discussion.

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:
Or iPhone one-tap :
    Canada: +16475580588,,6043406076#
Or Telephone:
    Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location)
        Canada: +1 647 558 0588
    Meeting ID: 604 340 6076


NOTE for the ONLINE AUDIENCE: Please have paper and pen available during the workshop.

Workshop Resources

The presenters will refer to the following links during the workshop.

You may also wish to download the speakers’ slides.

Call-in information for small group work

Online attendees will be directed to call-in for small group work. Do not call in until the presenters ask you to do so.

+1 (604) 673-4457 (CA)           English (Vancouver)
+1 (844) 499-8690 (CA)           English (other Canada)
+1 (514) 840-2670 (CA)           French (Canada)
Conference ID: 9234907


Attendance at the speaker series is free for CoRe series subscribers and volunteers, $20 for others. Pay ahead online at   , send an e-transfer, or bring a cheque or exact change to pay at the door. 2018 CoRe annual speaker series subscriptions are available for $50 at the door or at

CoRe Clinic is an approved continuing development provider for the Law Society of BC.  This session meets the LSBC Ethics requirements.

Posted by: CoRe Clinic | November 21, 2017

Join us for a special Ethics workshop

Plan to join us on December 6th, at 4:30 for CoRe’s Annual CoRe Ethics Workshop – “Looking at the Big Picture”.

Led by Carrie Gallant and Yuki Matsuno, this year’s much anticipated annual ethics session will shine a light on our own personal approaches to ethics in mediation. We’ll be discussing the ethical considerations regarding confidentiality of settlements in the era of #MeToo and consider fundamental questions about our own approach to ethics. We then will document our own personal ethics of mediation and quantify our own level of impartiality/bias by taking the Implicit Attribution Test together in the session. We will close with a discussion about our personal ethics of mediation and where we want our ethics to take us next in our mediation practice.

NOTE: We encourage you to bring your laptop or tablet to complete the IAT online during the session. 

carrieCARRIE GALLANT is a lawyer, Executive Coach and certified in Conversational Intelligence®. She is also a mediator, teacher and trainer. Carrie’s expertise in negotiation, conflict management and career counselling provides a rich foundation to her passion for helping others uncover what really matters and solve problems creatively. Carrie is also a founding board member of CoRe.

YukiYUKI MATSUNO is a mediator, facilitator, and lawyer. Yuki helps individuals and groups find their own customized solutions for disputes involving family, employment, and organizations. Yuki is a member of Mediate BC’s Civil, Family and Child Protection rosters, and has a deep interest in working with intercultural issues and with intercultural and immigrant families.

ATTENDANCE: The session will be held at KPMG’s downtown Vancouver office (777 Dunsmuir Street, 11th floor). RSVP to to confirm your seat.

LIVESTREAM: Link will be provided here on December 5th.

Attendance at the speaker series is free for CoRe series subscribers and volunteers, $20 for others. Pay ahead online at or bring a cheque or exact change to pay at the door. 2018 CoRe annual speaker series subscriptions are available for $50 at the door or at

CoRe Clinic is an approved continuing development provider for the Law Society of BC. Its Speaker Series events are pre-approved educational activities for professional development credit. This session meets the LSBC Ethics requirements.

Posted by: isarahswan | November 10, 2017

Conflict Resolution, Lately

A mostly-weekly round-up of notable articles and writings related to conflict resolution topics, by Sarah Swan.

Can online dispute resolution help business-to-consumer contracting?

Arbitration in Anarchy

Foreign Arbitration Awards and Collectibility

Patients Like Communication-and-Resolution Programs

Manitoba family law might become more collaborative

Dr. Sarah L. Swan (JSD, LLM, JD, BA) is a Law Teaching Fellow and Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia Law School. 

Have a suggestion for Conflict Resolution, Lately?  Please email with “Conflict Resolution, Lately” as the subject line.

Posted by: CoRe Clinic | November 9, 2017

Finding Work in Mediation

Paid graphicJoin us tonight at 7:00 p.m. for a panel discussion of finding work in mediation! If you are attending in person, please be at KPMG, 777 Dunsmuir Street between 6:50 and 7:00 for after hours admission to the building.


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