Mediation Dictionary:
A reference guide of terminology relating to the gentle art of mediation
The Orange and the Two Sisters --- This story is credited to the mediation training from Harvard Law School. It goes like this; There were two sisters and they had a dispute over an orange. The first sister felt it was her orange because she'd gone to the market and bought the orange. The second sister felt it was her orange because she'd lent her sister $5.00 before she went to purchase the orange. If the dispute went to court, the first sister would probably be given the orange because when she purchased the orange, she acquired title to it. If the dispute went before arbitration, the arbitrator would most likely cut the orange in two giving each sister half of what they wanted. In mediation, a good mediator would find out what was the "interest" each sister had in the orange; what if one sister wanted the peel to bake a cake and didn't want the fruit, and the other wanted only to eat the fruit, and discard the peel? This story explains the importance of getting past the parties positions and uncovering their interests within a dispute and the power of mediation as a form of dispute resolution. [See also Win-Win.]

Ombudsman --Usually an independent person whose role is to deal with complaints by the public against administrative (and, in some countries, corporate) injustice and maladministration, with the power to investigate, criticise and publish reports on his findings. He will normally have some power to recommended the payment of compensation.

On-Line Dispute Resolution (ODR) -- ODR takes existing dispute resolution mechanisms, applies technical resources and expertise over the Internet and can be delivered from any distance. All or part of the process can be online.

On-Line Mediation Training -- Cloverdale College offers an introductory level e-course on mediation as a required credit towards their B.A. degree. [ see also B Bachelors Degree (Concentration in Mediation)]

Open Shop --- A bargaining unit in a company or workplace at which the workers, though represented by a duly-elected union, are not required to pay the union dues or service fees for representation which the union is nevertheless legally required to provide.

Opening Statements -- Oral presentations which are given after the Mediator's address and allow each party the chance to present an uninterrupted narrative of their case with the full force of feeling and certainty.

Overlay Problems --- The term refers to complicating issues within a dispute containing dynamics such as communication problems or escalation which are usually extraneous parts of the conflict which can confuse the core issues and make them more difficult to understand and deal with.
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