Thursday, November 30, 2006

Martha Hausman- Negotiation Coach

Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?

I do, and that's why I'm especially inspired by Martha Hausman. She had a
plan for the type of services she wanted to offer and she's made it happen.
Let me tell you a more about Martha and why she's a entrepre-star in my book.

Martha is a mediator who built her practice around a rather unusual niche-
contract negotiations for rabbis, cantors and other clergy.

I LOVE IT. Not just because months ago I was urging someone to take up
the idea of being a congregational mediator, but because Martha really
tapped into some essentials for developing a practice.

Martha grew where she was standing

Most entrepreneurs develop winning ideas based on needs they see expressed in their own lives. She looked around her own life to discover where her talent, skills and interests intersected. Viola, negotiation coach for clergy.

Imagine, you're a religious leader with a new contract coming up. How could you protect yourself and your family during negotiations without seeming, well, money-grubbing? You hire someone like Martha to either walk you through a negotiation strategy or to be your agent during the talks. Either way, you're likely to do
better at the table and feel good about it.

Martha knew what she didn't know and got help

Savvy entrepreneurs recognize that there's a steep learning curve to growing a business. You can't expect to know everything. It's smart to find a guide and learn from the experiences of others. Martha attended my call on Attracting Your Ideal Client. She piped up when I talked about congregational mediation as a practice niche and I got intrigued by her work. We've been chatting. I peeked at her website and offered a few suggestions. She took a small risk by getting help and it looks like it's paying off.

Martha worked to get known

Martha had a mention in New York Times- impressive, huh. You can read a copy at her website, She understands how important it is to educate the public about how she can help them specifically. I noticed an article in this month's Boston magazine that's got press coverage for Martha written all over it and I can't wait to tell her about it.

Any more Entrepre-stars out there?

Martha will tell you how excited I got talking to her. It feels great to help her get started and really inspires me to keep going. So, if you think you're a star, drop me a note (about 500 words or so) about your practice and how you're marketing it.
Maybe you'll be the next Entrepre-star that gets a feature on Mediation Mensch...

Try. Fail. Learn. Grow!


PS Entrepre-star isn't as snappy as I'd any better ideas?

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Spiritual Side of ADR

What if spirituality was part of your regular business practices?

That question was answered in part when I had the pleasure of being a sponsor for the Harvard Negotiation Insight Initiative Fall Dialogue on November 18th.

The discussion between John Paul Lederach, author of Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace and Reverand Professor Peter Gomes of Harvard's Memorial Church soulfully explored essential questions of our time-

    How do we reduce suffering in the world?

    What is the nature of hope and optimism?

The conversation was so rich and compelling that one could clearly see the connection between our work and the world of spirituality. I strongly urge you to consider attending any of the upcoming HNII events.

It's part of your commitment to thinking like an entrepreneur to hone all your skills: business, mediation, and spiritual. Besides, it was quite wonderful and humbling to spend time reflecting on how peacemakers can and do change the world.

Here's the info for the next event.

WHAT: HNII Winter Wisdom Workshop 2006 – Cultivating Peace

WHO: ERICA ARIEL FOX, Founder & Director of HNII, internationally
recognized as an emerging thought leader and pioneer for work in integrating wisdom traditions and insights of spirit into the negotiation and conflict resolution world. MARK THORNTON, corporate meditation instructor

WHEN: November 30-December 3, 2006

WHERE: Held at a Countryside Retreat on 200 acres of lakefront woodland outside Boston, MA

RSVP: For more information or to register, visit

Call 617-495-7711 Email


As a WORKPLACE SECTION member of ACR, receive $100 off the HNII registration of $1500 General, $1000 Non-Profit

Try. Fail. Learn. Grow!


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Giving Thanks and Celebrating My Birthday

What a week filled with blessings this is! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays (right after Halloween) because it calls for me and everyone else to stop and acknowledge all the wonderful things that we might otherwise take for granted.

Every year, I'm thankful for my family. My two teenagers are probably two of the best on the planet. I'm grateful to have them because they've shown me the ways to be open-hearted, forgiving and deeply loving.

This year my new husband, Peter, joins the fold. We're celebrating our first wedding anniversary on Friday. I'm especially blessed that we have each other to share life's challenges and joys together- and there's been quite a few of both over the past 6 years we've been together.

I'm also grateful to have a birthday at all. As someone who was a serious preemie (4 pds at birth) and later adopted into a wonderful family, I know that not one minute of life is guaranteed. I'm blessed to have so many chances at life.

I'm so blessed it takes a full month for me to celebrate. That why I think I should be giving out gifts instead of receiving them.

So, here's my gift to you, which I hope you will accept and pass it on to friends.

You're invited to join Mark Silver and I for Setting Fees that Feel Right on November 30th at 3 p.m. as my guest at a special price.

The class is regularly $47 but you'll enjoy it for $27, a 43% savings.

Click this link to register This is the only special link and it expires on Friday, Nov. 24th.

Give yourself the gift of hope and encouragement. Your clients will thank you and so will your bank account!

Try. Fail. Learn. Grow!


PS- Click thru and you'll get a sneak peek of the new site. I'd love to hear your feedback.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Don't Miss Mark Silver

Just a quickie today to say how inspired I am by the work that Mark Silver is doing. You might remember that Mark, a 4th generation entrepreneur and Sufi spiritual teacher, runs The Heart of Business We met through our mutual coach who inspires us both, Robert Middleton.

Anyway, while listening to Mark's CD on Getting Help in your business it dawned on me. Mark has become MY coach. His insightful thoughts on how to counteract fear of success really resonated with me- he says remember that we are in service to others and in a larger sense to the universe which will provide for all in its time. Just realizing that the people, skills, money, and thoughts I need will arrive really frees me to give up fear and doubt and thrive.

If you have a chance to join us on November 30th teleseminar when Mark will share his thoughts on creating heart-driven fees, I strongly urge you to do it. You'll leave the call with new ways to think about money and fees and a different perspective on how to integrate that into your mediation practice.

I know the cost of the teleseminar might feel like a sticking point, especially if budget is an issue. Once again I point to my buddy, Einstein, who said, and I paraphrase:

"The solution to a problem cannot be developed with the same level of consciousness that created the problem."

What does that mean to you?

You'll need to change the way you think to create a better fee structure that brings in revenue and that's certainly something worth paying for, don't you think?

Try. Fail. Learn. Grow.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Are Your Headlines Empathetic or Intellectual?

When I run across a cool Internet tool I can't wait to share it with you. Inside my very useful issue of Speakernet News, an ezine for professional speakers that's filled with great tips and tools, I discovered a headline analyzer.

Churning out pithy and effective headlines is tough. It's easy to write a headline that's too sales-y ( Eat all you want and still lose weight!) or too dull (Best Practice in Marketing) or not persuasive enough (Why Blog Comments Works). Honestly, it a challenge because I write a lot of headlines for articles, blog posts and marketing blurbs and the like. That's why I was so pleased to find the analyzer.

You simply type in your headline and hit a button. It analyzes the text and returns an EMV- Emotional Marketing Value. Most good copywriters score in the 30-40% range. Exceptional writers score over 50% in their copy. Then the tool tells you which emotions your words impact: intellectual, empathetic or spiritual. Did you know that most words fall into the intellectual impact category?

Here are the results of two headlines I'm running now:

Writing for Dollars- Marketing with Articles- EMPATHETIC 50%

Setting Fees that Feel Right & Still Make Money- INTELLECTUAL 37.50%

Nice scores but what really surprised me was the classifications. Who would've guessed that 'setting fees that feel right' would be considered a brainy appeal? Certainly not me. I was going for heart-felt.

What's this mean to you?
It helps to test headlines either with this tool or with real people to get their reaction. Also, it underscores again the importance of not assuming that you are actually communicating what you intend to communicate.

There's still time to sign up for either of these teleseminars using the links below:

Writing for Dollars
on 11/16 at 3 pm EST

Setting Fees that Feel Right with Mark Silver on 11/30 as 3 pm EST

Try. Fail. Learn. Grow!


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Become an Elder Care Coach

Good ideas are all around us if we keep our eyes and ears open.

I shared a airport shuttle with a number of ACR attendees and we got to talking about our work naturally. We were discussing ADR in health care when Art Benson, a attorney and mediator from Danbury, Wisconsin, wondered if anyone knew of a mediator that could help families gather information to properly support an elderly member of the family.

We couldn't think of anyone directly, but what a great niche idea.

Someone in the role of an Elder Care Coach would help families become educated on the myriad of details that must be mastered to successfully navigate an unyielding and sometime unforgiving system.

Peggy Herrmann, who runs the Herrmann Group- a facilitation/mediation practice in Athens, GA- reminded us how simply knowing the right questions to ask or using 'insider' language can make the difference.

I think this role would make a wonderful service addition to a elder care mediation practice. This niche of end users is identifiable, organized and affordably reachable (learn more about these niche defining questions during my 11/21 teleseminar, Attracting Your Ideal Client: Find Your Niche) There are plenty of referral sources, i.e. EAPs, hospitals, nursing homes, state agencies.

Someone please take this idea! And, keep me posted.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Why ACR Deserves a Second Look

Last week I attended the annual Association of Conflict Resolution conference in Philadelphia, PA. It was a stimulating experience for several reasons, but mainly because it was my first conference after assuming my role as Tri-Chair of the Workplace Section, the second largest section of ACR, along with Debra Dupree and Mike McDowell.

Now, I know ACR hasn't enjoyed the best reputation as a resource over the past few years. Like others, I wondered about the value of joining the national organization especially when I have such a tight and productive relationship with my local chapter, New England ACR. I gave ACR a second chance and I strongly urge you to do the same. Here's why.

Professional Development

This year's conference provided a wealth of professional development opportunities during and prior to the conference. The diversity of programming from new trainer tricks to conflict system design to use of online tools for disputes was amazing; and frankly, it's difficult to find elsewhere.

Visiting the conference bookstore flatten my wallet but allowed me to meet some very interesting authors like Blaine Donais, who penned Workplaces that Work and a blog of the same name, and Craig Runde, who authored Become a Competent Conflict Leader and has a great new conflict profile. Attending the conference enabled me to not only buy their books, but speak directly with the authors. (I'll confess that meeting Ken Cloke was a conference highlight for me.)


When was the last time you had more than two ADR professionals in the room together when it wasn't a mediation or training? We rarely have the chance to get to know each other. One of my greatest joys was meeting other professionals from different parts of the world (one attendee traveled 22 hours from South Africa!) as well as the ADR community. It was thrilling to chat with Cinnie Nobles and Jennifer Lynch about conflict coaching and integrated conflict system design, respectively. These women are mavericks and I hope to interview them as part of my Trailblazer series. Sure, we emailed prior to meeting but there's nothing like the energy that's created from meeting face to face. ACR is a great place to make friends in a profession that can sometimes be lonely.

Expanding Awareness

By attending the conference I'm became more knowledgable about the concerns of our industry like credentialing and legislative efforts. Through dialogue and rigourous debate, together we can attain a higher level of thinking to reach solutions. According to Einstein," No problem can be solved with the same level of consciousness that created it." Don't let your voice go unheard. Together, we're much much smarter than any one of us.


If you haven't guessed by now I'm in favor of fun. In the work we do it's essential to keep a sense of humor to aid our clients and promote self-care. Conferences are fun. I had a conversation with Mike, Robyn, Ericka and others about vulnerability as it relates to the genders and the nature of marriage over a few beers that was rich, thought-provoking, funny and meaningful. I shared some wild cab adventures and truly fine caribbean food with Debra, Steve and Blaine. I truly liked all these folks and hope we'll be friends for a good long time.

What's all this mean to you? Consider joining ACR for one year. Be active in a section (I recommend the Workplace Section). Give of your time freely and see what returns to you.

Try. Fail. Learn. Grow!


PS A very big thank you to all the ACR staff I had the pleasure to meet like Andy Levin, Jennifer Druliner and Ashley Parker. And a very special thanks to Section Manager extraordinaire, Ann-Marie Burton. From what I experienced, these are the hardest working people in ADR.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Top 10 Reasons I Blog!

Geoff Sharp over at Mediator blah blah did a nice roundup of ADR Blogs which received a fun comment- a top ten list of reasons to blog. So, I thought I'd share my own humorous version.

10. I get to spend time trolling the Internet and still call it work.

9. My research keeps me abreast of new developments in ADR and business.

8. Testing cool software is really fun.

7. I get to talk about marketing with a bunch of exciting entrepreneurs.

6. One bit of advice can save hours of effort and angst.

5. I want to be Diane Levin when I grow up.

4. My family is tired of listening to this great marketing idea for mediators'

3. My mom always told me it is polite to share.

2. The world needs every single peacemaker to stay working in the field.

1. I want every mediator to have the life and practice they dream of.

So, now I ask you- What's your 10 ten reasons for being a mediator? Don't be shy, just add your to the comments below.

Try. Fail. Learn. Grow!