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PROMISING NEWS FROM THE FRONT: PEACEMAKER OFFERS PLENARY ADDRESS TO THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY

Jan Frankel Schau

The following is excerpted from a Plenary Address given by Jan Frankel Schau, private mediator to  the Department of Navy’s CM3 Program held in September, 2006 in San Diego, California

 Not many civilians know that the Department of Navy has adopted a “Conflict Management  and Mediation Model (CM3) and a set of standards designed to promote Human Resource Officer’s  (HRO’s) efforts to use alternative dispute resolution techniques.  What I didn’t know when I went to  address the first National DON conference on ADR last month, was that the Navy’s stated  justification for using ADR methods in workplace disputes is not to make peace in the workplace,  but  rather to save costs through conflict resolution and thereby increase morale in order to  “support naval forces to fight successful wars”.

Unlike other ADR Professionals, the HRO’s in the Navy are trained to recognize that “conflict is not inherently bad”.  Therefore, the stated purpose of CM3 includes promoting the mission of the Naval Forces.  Perhaps it is most strikingly articulated in the DON ADR Program Manual as follows:  “The Attorney General recognizes that the use of ADR methods that improve the work of Government can play a crucial role in the war on terrorism.”  (See:  text of the AG’s ltr dated 12 March 2004, at http://adr.navy.mil/adr/agletter.rtf).  It is under this backdrop that my plenary address on “The Promise Of Mediation” offered a controversial view to the HRO’s in attendance at the San Diego Conference in September.

 

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February 2007