Monday, October 30, 2006

Ghost of a chance: three ways mediators can celebrate Halloween

Happy Halloween from Online Guide to MediationDespite the efforts of retail giants to commercialize Halloween, October 31 remains my favorite holiday. What's not to like about a day that encourages chocolate consumption?

To kick off the festivities, I propose three ways that mediators can get in on the celebration:

1. Consider a daring new practice area.

A business in Indonesia advertises itself as "the last resort for professional ghost removal and mediation services" (emphasis mine). In addition to serving as mediators in your disputes with the damned, they are also available to assist as negotiators on your behalf to rid your home of pesky poltergeists. They seem to rely upon an integrative, interest-based negotiation framework, according to their web site:

…some entities have a demand since they have a 'territory' to respect. Sometimes we need to know their intention and demand before we remove them.
Evidently, successful negotiations with the dead, much as with the living, depend upon a thorough exploration of mutual interests. (One can only imagine the discussion about BATNA.)

2. Sign up for a course in intergalactic conflict resolution.

Mediators eager to explore new frontiers may wish to consider one of the courses taught at the Exopolitics Institute (featured here before on this blog): either Exopolitics 102: Citizen Diplomacy with Extraterrestrials, which includes a module on conflict resolution and mediation for the resolution of interplanetary disputes, or Multidimensional Ambassadors - Peace Building with ETs, Angels and Dolphins. (While there's time, don't forget to sign up for the Extraterrestrial Civilizations and World Peace Conference in May 2007.)

3. Do some seasonal reading to get into the holiday spirit.

May I suggest this post of mine from last Halloween: "High spirits: legal issues can arise on sale of haunted houses", which concludes with discussion of an unsuccessful effort to bring a lawsuit against Satan.

Happy Halloween, everybody.