On November 15 at Highland Community College, members of the Stephenson County Bar Association and attorneys from across Northern Illinois gathered for a professional development training entitled “Court-Annexed Mediation Program and Negotiations Skills Seminar.” The local bar association contacted the Leadership Institute, now celebrating its 20th anniversary year at Highland, for their expertise and guidance in training programs.
“The Leadership Institute was excited to have been approached by the Stephenson County Bar Association about providing a seminar on mediation and negotiation for members of the Association,” said Alan Wenzel, director of the Leadership Institute. “Using a simulation that was created by Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation, the half-day session provided an opportunity for participants to reinforce critical negotiations skills.”
Following a presentation by Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Val Gunnarsson, Wenzel and co-facilitator Lynn Feaver presented a case study developed by Harvard Law School. This program explored concepts and skills related to resolving conflicts and negotiating agreements by engaging attendees in a multi-party, multi-issue game involving a dispute over a construction project. Participants improved on important communication, listening and mediation skills through real-time negotiations in which participants were required to represent and advocate an assigned viewpoint.
“Stephenson County Presiding Judge Terry Ursin and I got every bit as much out of the excellent program as did the attorneys,” said Judge Gunnarsson. “In fact, I think this program or something very similar presented by the Leadership Institute and the Stephenson County Bar Association could become the core of mediation training for our court-annexed mediation program. It really was terrific.”
For more information on the Leadership Institute, call 815-599-3441 or visit highland.edu.