Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Educating Your Market

I'll say it again. If you're not reading all kinds of business stuff- magazines, ezines, etc- you're missing out on crucial information and ideas that can grow your practice.

That said, here's what I found in a recent visit to Flying Solo, an ezine devoted to soloists like you and me. Robert Gerrish, an Aussie coach, reminds us that we have to educate our market if we want to make sales. Educate, not market; there's a difference.

Read more from Robert here.

Got any more taglines? Don't miss out on creating a branding 'win-win'. Submit your entry NOW!

Try. Fail. Learn.


PS Also check out the recent issue of Psychology Today, which discusses the use of personal narrative. It's a fascinating story, and not just because it confirms my long-held belief that people frequently cast themselves in the most advantageous role (victor, villain, or victim) when sharing their stories in mediation.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Extra Value- Florida Mediator

Touring around the blogosphere I ran across the
Florida Mediator penned by Perry Itkin. The blog
provides up to the minute information and case law
involving mediation and other ADR processes. Hmmm,
I thought, what can I make of this?

Two things came to mind. Can you guess?

First, Perry is supplying valuable information to
all mediators. His recent post about the enforceability
of dispute resolution programs
was interesting and
directly on point for my Ombuds business. I now
have another persuasion point to use with my
prospective clients. If I had a referral for a
Florida mediator, I'd turn to Perry because he's
already demonstrated that he's a thoughtful practitioner
by keeping up to date.

Second, his blog is a good example of offering services to
the service providers. What could you do to help other
mediators or ADR professionals enter or succeed in your
selected niche?

It's not always about delivering the product
yourself. That's why I'm developing a business growth
program that will assist my fellow mediators to break
into the small business market segment. Fearless
Conversations Business Growth Program will each you in
three easy modules how to select and research your niche;
reach out to that group and deliver a short program that
whets their appetite for more ADR work.

The program will launch next year, but if you want to
give me some feedback on what I should include, I'm all ears!

How can you take the lessons of Perry Itkin and make them
work for you?

Try, Fail, Learn


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Fun ADR Contest

I'm running a contest, if you didn't already know. It's a world-
wide search (mainly the ADR world) to find a tagline for the new
term I coined- Peacepreneur.Click here to learn more!

A Peacepreneur is someone, like you and I, who leads an ADR based business.
I like this term because it unifies the various practitioners and makes us
sound a bit 'sexier'. Don't hesitate to Send Your Tagline!

Diane Levin of Online Guide to Mediation and Roni Lipton, Assistant
Director at the University of Massachusetts Graduate Program on Dispute
Resolution (where I fondly recall being faculty) invited their friends and
colleagues to participate.

A BIG welcome to all and thanks for reading and entering!

Try. Fail. Learn.


Thursday, December 15, 2005

Open Letter to Steve Marsh of

Thanks, Steve, for putting together a year end list of ADR resources. This time of year everyone is busy, so you may not have had a free moment to explore my sites, or Mediation Mensch, fully.

So, I thought I’d share some interesting points about each with you and your readers. is one of the first websites devoted to providing private Ombuds services and conflict resolution tools to the small business market in a meaningful way. The site is full of articles and special reports to help others learn what we already know: it’s better to resolve issues. The message is spreading because WWT was featured in Inc. magazine this past November. As my friend, Sarah, says, ‘that’s the big time’. I’m very proud to be able to share my knowledge and experience in such an assessable way.

As for Mediation Mensch, well, it’s also one of the first blogs dedicated to the business of ADR. The ADR community is filled with some of the finest people I’ve ever met. As a group, we’re well-intentioned but we won’t be able to serve anyone unless we understand how to run the business side. Yes, it’s awkward and maybe a bit embarrassing, but absolutely necessary if the profession is to grow and be prosperous.

You made note of the pop-up on my site. I hope you noticed several important things about it. One, it offers a free mini-course. I believe that knowledge is power and I’m happy to share mine for free. Second, the pop up is very discreet. It comes up once only and it’s a way for me to practice what I preach in Mediation Mensch.

One more thing. I read and fully support other ADR bloggers such as Diane Levin’s blog, Online Guide to Mediation. Her thoughtful commentary and research over the past year (an eternity in blog time) are valuable to us all. You’re absolutely right that our numbers are increasing, and isn’t wonderful that there’s room for all sorts of perspectives.

I hope you’ll print this letter in your next issue as a way of encouraging dialogue and understanding others, both tenets of mediation. I plan to print this in my blog, too.

Wishing you all the best in your future endeavors.

Best, Dina

New Year, New Stuff

It's that time of year again. You're ready to make
a few resolutions to boost your business for next year.
I have one thing to say about it: Don't!

(Learn about my fun ADR contest, Click here!)

I don't know about you, but most of us, including me,
don't keep resolutions for more than a short time, or
at all.

Rather than spend my energy devising resolutions, this
year I'm finding role models who can show me a road map of
how to get where I want to go.

To improve my platform and sales on I'm working with Travis Greenlee,a masterful coach at Virtual Practice Builder. Don't judge a coach by his web page; Travis is the real deal.

To drive readership, I'm reading blogs like
Next Level Biz Tips and Duct Tape Marketing Blog Channel especially Troy White who writes Word Wealth, which is brimming with how to and don't ever tips.

To polish Mediation Mensch, I'm trying strategies from
my friend, Diane Levin of Online Guide to Mediation- truly one of the
best written, most interesting, informative blogs in our business.

All of these folks have enjoyed success. I hope
to enjoy the same and more by following in their footsteps.

Whose steps will you be following next year?

Try, fail and learn,


PS Did you submit your entry for the Peacepreneur tagline yet? (read 12/12 What's My Line). Come on, I know you have one, so SEND IT IN. Contest closes 12/31 at 7

Monday, December 12, 2005

What's My Line?

Did you know that naming is one of society's
chief means for imposing order on perception,
according to David Slawson?

Naming issues and behaviors is a key component
to resolving a conflict and creating a workable

However, this time I want to create a name for
us mediators. After all, the right name is an
advertisement all by itself (Claude Hopkins).

After much thinking, peacepreneur came to mind.


It's catchy but it needs a tagline. My contributions-
Working for Peace and Making Peace for a Living-
are really dull.

I challenge all my readers and your friends and
colleagues to devise a better tagline.

Something fun that can fit on a mug or a mouse pad.

The contest will start today and end on Dec. 31 at
7 p.m. Send your entry with Tagline in the subject line.
Don't be shy--send loads of entries and encourage
others to do the same!

Grand prize will be a mug with the winning slogan and
bragging rights. The entries worthy of honorable mention
will be featured in this blog.

I can't wait to see what you all come up with!!

Ciao, Dina

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Most Powerful You

I love traveling. For all the obvious reasons, of course.
But also because it offers me the world as my lab for
studying people and behavior.

Returning from my honeymoon, I joined a crowd that was waiting
for luggage to turn up on the baggage carousel. I heard a sky cap
say to no one in particular, "I don't know much. I'm just a sky
cap, but you might want to look in the pile of left luggage."

No one seemed to pay attention, even though he said it a few times.
But I did, and I found my bag among the orphans(somehow it had
made an earlier flight than I had.)

The whole episode made me wonder about what happens when we
fail to see ourselves as powerful.

In this context, I'm defining powerful as having the ability to
make something happen or have superior knowledge. In the context
of the airport and baggage, the sky cap was powerful to me
and anyone else who wanted their luggage. Yet, he downplayed his
knowledge and power. Sound familiar?

Have you ever spoken about being a mediator in a kinda apologetic
way? If so, you diminished your power by doing so. That
reticence, that resistance to owning one's power is one of the
reasons I think mediators have so much trouble
building profitable practices.

We don't see ourselves as powerful or valuable!

In fact, it's quite the contrary. Mediators are so powerful in a
good way.

  • Mediators have the ability to help others see themselves
    and the world in an entirely new light.

  • We bring value by assisting others to make connection and feel
  • We can help others to change their world.

I realize this notion may rub some folks the wrong way.
Seeing ourselves as powerful challenges the tenets of self-determin-
ation and neutrality for some, I suppose. It may be true in part,
but I'd rather believe the following:

"As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same."
Nelson Mandela

Ciao, Dina

PS Many thanks to those readers who sent along best wishes for my
wedding. I couldn't resist sharing one picture of the beautiful
setting and magical feeling that surrounded us that day.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

True Grit

Wasn't that a John Wayne movie? Thinking of him definitely
brings to mind a kind of 'never say die spirit', don't you think?

Grit. It's an interesting term, which probably doesn't resonate with
modern readers. But my grandma used to say you need to have
grit to make it in this world. And, guess what? She was right.

According to a recent issue of Psychology Today, grit is one of
the key factors in success. It's defined as a deep ability to
persevere. It is, surprisingly, more important to success than
talent or intelligence. More important than intelligence!

I've known that for a while because one of my favorite quotes by
Calvin Coolidge, which reads:

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race"

What does all this talk about grit mean for you? Well, you already know how
tough it is to build a successful mediation practice. Are
you in it for the long haul? Can you press on when others around you insist
it's a lost cause? Do you have grit?

Ciao, Dina

PS If you like this blog, why not read my ezine Peace at Work, too.
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