Convening Processes

Convening processes include all of the actions an intermediary must take before a negotiation, mediation, facilitation, or dialogue process starts. It involves conflict assessment, stakeholder identification, obtaining resources and a venue, and at least starting to design a process. Numerous respondents have comments on how this is done.

Convenor's Role

Silke Hansen talks about the third party's role in making medition a feasible option.
Carolyn Stephenson explains most of the work of a workshop comes ahead of time.
S.Y. Bowland talks about third party cultural competency.
Laura Chasin talks about using interviews with participants to improve the quality of dialogue groups.
Silke Hansen discusses the importance of making sure everyone knows what is going on when one is trying to convene a dispute resolution process.
Silke Hansen discusses the use of prelimary meetings to overcome roadblocks early on in mediation.
Larry Susskind talks about how conflict assessors can distance themselves from the bias of the convener.

Conflict Assessment

Larry Susskind talks about conflict assessment and option identification.

Stakeholder Identification

Peter Coleman discusses who should be at the negotiating table.
Wallace Warfield discusses the importance of getting the right people at the negotiation table.
Deborah Kolb asks, "Why are women not at negotiating tables?"
Larry Susskind suggests that simply getting parties to the table is form of success for practitioners trying to build consensus.
Larry Susskind talks about the process of identifying stakeholder representative in complex, multi-stakeholder conflicts.
Larry Susskind talks about how to deal with spoilers during the convening process.

Process Design

Frank Dukes suggests that process design is crucial to successful facilitation.
Suzanne Ghais suggests that setting an agenda and identifying goals to be accomplished can be an important part of intervention.
Robert Stains talks about creating safe spaces for dialogue.
Leo Cardenas talks about how to "work the ethnicity out of" a conflict situation, so that more immediate issues can be addressed.
Bob Ensley says that getting disputing parties to talk to one another is a crucial step toward managing racism and other overarching issues.
Former Community Relations Service Mediator Nancy Ferrell describes how she dealt with potentially violent situations.
Community Relations Service Mediator Silke Hansen describes how it helps to level the playing field by helping community groups prepare for mediation.
Community Relations Service Mediator Ozell Sutton describes the difference between "street mediation" and "table mediation" and how he got and kept people involved in each in a very hostile employment dispute.
Former Community Relations Service Mediator Wallace Warfield discusses how he balances his mediation activities with justice concerns.

Case Examples

Larry Susskind talks about consensus building and mediation in the Middle East.
Dick Salem describes a grassroots peacebuilding and violence prevention program with gangs in El Salvador.
Peter Coleman describes how an abortion dialogue in Boston had its genesis in a shooting.