Hurry is an unpleasant thing in itself and it is very unpleasant for the people around you. Some people come into your room, rushing in and rushing out, and even when they are there they are not there -- they are in the moment ahead or the moment behind. Some people who come in just for a moment are all there, completely in that moment . . . If you let yourself be absorbed completely, if you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly those moments.
Anne Morrow Lindberg, Personal Diary, February 1928
The good listener doesn't moralize. They know their own minds well enough not to be surprised or frightened by strangeness. They give the impression that they recognize and accept human folly; they don't flinch when we mention our terrors and desires. They reassure us they're not going to shred our dignity . . . It is only too easy to end up experiencing ourselves as strangely cursed and exceptionally deviant or uniquely incapable. But the good listener makes their own strategic confessions, so as to set the record straight about the meaning of being a normal (that is, very muddled and radically imperfect) human being. They confess not so much to unburden themselves as to help others accept their own nature and see that being a bad parent, a poor lover, or a confused worker is not a malignant act of wickedness but an ordinary feature of being alive that others have unfairly edited out of their public profiles.
The School of Life: An Emotional Education (2019)
Patience signifies forbearance, which does not mean permissiveness or indulgence but the gift of room, time and space for the amendment of life . . . Patience can transform the situation from an occasion for resentment, frustration, or resignation to the disclosure of a whole new range of possibilities and challenges that we might never have glimpsed had not patience afforded leisure for their scrutiny . . . We shall never learn to act in measured and judicious ways toward others if we have not learned first of all to pay attention to them.
David B. Harned, Patience: How We Wait Upon the World (1997)
Disclaimer: I help others—professionally and personally. And I invite others to help me—professionally and personally. I mediate conflicts, facilitate hard conversations, and work to understand tough family systems. This does not imply my life is without conflict, anxiety, strained familial relations, and other indications of human normalcy. Like you, in all ways I am human. ~~ William Lee Mangrum
Transforming Conflict through Understanding, Compasion, and Respect
Experience: I mediated my first case—domestic violence—in 1980 while in seminary. Across the decades since, I have mediated estates, custody disputes, division of assets, elder care issues, end-of-life decisions, homeless services, architectural designs, building fund problems, educational decisions, and public safety concerns. And, I have facilitated difficult conversations involving multi-generational family relations, international service projects, institutional communications, business ventures, neighborhood conflicts, inter-religious dialogues, capital improvements, and employee-employer relations.
Many conflicts are two-party matters—such as co-workers with differing values locked in a workplace dispute. Other conflicts involve community discussions with numerous stakeholders spanning several months—such as a heated public debate about cell towers in a coastal village. Frequent conflicts are inter-generational—such as when families grapple with elder care, trust funds, and estate settlements.
As a former pastor, I know that religious communities are the sites of intense, multi-party, and multi-generational conflicts. Congregational disputes—such as intense committee discussions about music, liturgy, youth groups, work projects, property management, and the placement of the American Flag within a sanctuary—may seem trivial to non-religious persons. But in fact, pastors mediate hundreds of conflicts occasioned by weddings, funerals, public holidays, and religious celebrations. Also, faith-communities often disagree over raising funds for salaries, building maintenance and capital improvements.
Respect: Conflicts are emotionally charged, never inconsequential to persons close to the heat. I care about the persons I work with in conflict. I bring understanding, compassion, and respect to the table.
I specialize in the application of Bowen Systems Theory to conflict and mediation. Each of my conflict offerings and my training programs is uniquely designed for specific situations and may include the usage of conflict inventories, Bowen Systems Theory, mindfulness exercises, and critical self-reflection.
I understand varying conflict styles and the complexities of immediate families and extended kinship systems. I am compassionate—able to empathize with persons in deeply conflicted relations. I respect all parties. I do not judge. I possess the emotional maturity, the technical skills, the patience, and the commitment necessary to assist conflicted parties as they construct their own durable solutions to their own difficult troubles.
Training: Beyond extensive pastoral training—which included significant studies in pastoral care and counseling—I have accrued over six hundred (600) hours in academic studies of conflict and professional training in mediation. I have studied Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, California, New Mexico, and North Carolina.
My inquiries have taken me to the University of New Mexico School of Law, Colorado State University, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center, the Udall Foundation--US. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, and the Green Gulch Farms/Zen Monastery in California. Currently, I am engaged in the study of Restorative Justice Circles with colleagues from Simon Fraser University, BC.
By experience, manner, training, and calling -- I am a mediator.