Guest Presenter: Brad Heckman
Mindfulness has captured a lot of attention as a way to counter the stress of everyday life. Mediation has also caught on, as a way to minimize the suffering (both human and financial) caused by workplace conflict. By placing these two practices side by side, we find some striking parallels and far-reaching implications as to where responsibility for conflict management lies. In both mediation and mindfulness, the practitioner consciously chooses to pay attention to what is happening in each moment, without judgement. Through this process, ‘mediator’ and meditator’ can reverse the downward spiral of destructive stress or conflict, both within themselves and in those around them. We need no longer think of conflict management as the sole responsibility of specialists such as mediators or HR. Each one of us can play a role in helping to transform conflict just through the quality of our awareness. When witnessing conflict around us, instead of picking a side and reinforcing the parties’ perceptions of victimization or righteousness, we can purposefully choose to bring greater mindfulness by paying attention to what is happening without judgment. Remember: There’s a difference of only one letter between the words “mediation” and “meditation”. On the face of it, they seem like two entirely different things, but the two have more in common than just their spelling. Mediation and meditation both require you to ground yourself in some way, find your center, explore what you really need and want, and take action to get there. They share the need for self-recognition and have the result of creating self-sufficiency.
Brad Heckman is the Chief Executive Officer of the New York Peace Institute, one of the nation’s largest conflict resolution services. He is also an Adjunct Professor at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs, where he teaches courses on international conflict resolution and organizational development. His teaching style includes sharing his childlike drawings and arcane pop culture references with his audience. Brad previously served as International Director of Partners for Democratic Change, for which he helped build the first community peacebuilding centers in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, South Caucasus and the former Soviet Union. He has introduced mediation to Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the former Soviet Union, Caucasus and the Baltics. He also worked in Hungary and the Czech Republic, where he oversaw a program aimed at promoting gypsy inclusion into society. On the domestic front, he has provided training for the New York Police Department, labor unions, NASA, the United Nations and various community organizations. “I’ve trained about 200 New York
Police officers to date and we’ve gotten amazing feedback about how they use their skills on the street” Heckman said “Working with the NYPD has reinforced how mediation skills can be used as micro-interventions in difficult, and even highly escalated conversations He was also a Vice President of Safe Horizon, a leading victim’s services and violence prevention agency. In that capacity, he oversaw the agency’s Mediation, Families of Homicide Victims, Legal Services, Anti-Trafficking, Batterers Intervention and Anti-Stalking Programs. Brad received a Master of Arts in International Relations and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Dickinson College. He blogs for the New York Peace Institute.
Only Paid Members are invited to Our Day of Learning.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 9:00 am. It will be hosted by Ann Navarria, Director of Human Resources, Cancer Care located at 275 Seventh Avenue, 22nd Floor, New York, NY 10021. Please use rear elevators. The entrance is between 25th and 26th Street. Please feel free to take the “1” train to either 28th Street or to 23rd Street. This session has been approved for HRCI Credit.
Please RSVP no later than Monday, June 13th. Your name will need to be on the HRPANO list for security and you must have ID to enter the building.