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Better Mediation Through Irreverence: Humor in Practice

This document was prepared to support of a series of seminars created by Dave Ceppos, Associate Director with the Center for Collaborative Policy and Carie Fox, President and Senior Mediator of Fox Mediation.

Better Meditiation Through Irrevenence: Humor in Practice 

The seminars were prepared for the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution in Washington D.C. as part of their annual 2005 series on collaborative studies. The original seminar was created and delivered by Fox and Ceppos as part of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution’s conference in May 2005.

The seminar is an analysis of a rarely discussed aspect of mediation practice – the use of humor. As in many endeavors and aspects of daily life, humor is an inherent component of mediation. Fox and Ceppos routinely and strategically use humor as a part of their practice / negotiation structure. Fox and Ceppos found discussion of the topic scarce in mediation practice and theory literature. This document is a brief presentation of humor related practice tools, and a reference to humor-related literature, relative to multi-party mediation and negotiation.

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