Inaugural Southeastern Mediators’ Summit delves into business of mediation

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Nationally known conflict resolution expert and author Tammy Lenski will serve as the keynote speaker at the inaugural Southeastern Mediators’ Summit at Lipscomb University’s Institute for Conflict Management (ICM) on Dec. 1-3, but Lenski won’t be speaking about mediation, at least not the form of mediation that most of the public envisions when they hear the word.

The public at-large most often views “mediators” as union negotiators or divorce court lawyers, but in truth mediators can be involved in a wide array of community-building activities from workplace management to community development, from executive coaching to training grassroots groups in conflict prevention, said Lenski, who wants mediators to expand their thinking about ways they can serve the public.

“I think this is a ground-breaking conference. I don’t know of another conference talking about expanding the way mediators work with the world and making it in business. You have to think of yourself as a mediator and as a businessman,” said Lenski, author of Making Mediation Your Day Job: How to Market your ADR Using Mediation Principles You Already Know.

After a proven history of teaching businesspeople, state judges, public officials and even students how to bring mediation into their business, the Institute for Conflict Management will now be teaching mediators how to bring some business tactics into their mediation services.

Cost to attend In the Shadow and Out of the Box: Realizing Mediation’s Future is $1,195. There is a special rate of $695 for those employed by government or non-profit organizations. The summit begins at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 1. Click here to register or call 1-800-333-4358, ext. 7174.

The summit will feature seminars on mediation and business by past president of the International Academy of Mediation Tracy Allen and presentation coach Schatzie Brunner, who spent nearly a decade as a Turner Broadcasting producer and a CNN news anchor.

Seminars will be held exploring issues in faith-based organizations, and best practices in community mediation as well as seminars by Lenski and Brunner on how to expand and market a mediation business.

Lenski will explain how mediators can repackage their skills to appeal to audiences, how to choose the market best for their services, and how to reach the market. Participants will walk out of the summit with a marketing plan for their business ready to use, she said.

Brunner will hold a seminar on powerful communication, helping mediators learn to make the best use of the entire range of communication vehicles: appearance, voice, facial energy, body language as well as a memorable message.

“Communication is about utilizing all of our senses, and effective messages are created when authenticity is at the heart of the communicator,” said Brunner. 

For more information on In the Shadow and Out of the Box: Realizing Mediation’s Future, log on to or call 1-800-333-4358, ext. 7174.