Saturday, August 1

Improvisation, Negotiation and All That Jazz

Some while ago I started a post with;

'Yeah well, I'm not sure that I get the whole 'mediators can learn from improv comedy' thing to be honest...'

But since then I have read the wonderfully refreshing Improvisational Negotiation by Jeff Krivis and talked to him about the connections between jazz and mediation. And when someone like Jeff says this is the next frontier for mediators, you better listen up... So I wasn't surprised to hear music coming from Jeff's classroom at Pepperdine where he was teaching Improvisational Mediation recently - but I was alarmed to hear he had smuggled a whole jazz band in there!'

Well now
you can see it - musicians and students learning negotiation techniques by trained jazz musicians at Pepperdine Law School. But I'm back to where I was - I just don't get the connection!

Hat tip First Mediation


Stephanie West Allen said...

Geoff, this book might be helpful:


Joe Markowitz said...

Isn't mediation a form of theatre, in that each of the participants has an assigned role to play? And since there is a structure to most mediations, but the exact lines that people are going to say are not written out in advance, then it is a lot like improvisational theatre. Or jazz, where the structure is imposed by the chord changes, but the musicians are free to play any notes in the scales that harmonize with those chord changes. And of course there are always opportunities to play some wrong notes. Sometimes those work to take the piece in a new direction, and sometimes they just sound jarring.