Amy Alkon believes that mediation is a powerful tool to resolve differences and create understanding. But we don’t have to be professional mediators to use basic mediation techniques to keep conflicts from turning ugly. She believes that we have the most power to resolve conflict when we don’t come at it with brute force but decide we’re powerful enough to relax and listen to another person, leading to understanding and empathy. She advises, “Don’t fight back — listen your way out of an argument.”
Amy is a mediator for private clients — specializing in relationship mediation — both to help couples resolve disputes and to train them so they can disagree lovingly and productively. She also volunteers as a mediator and gives behavioral science-based training sessions for the Dispute Resolution Program in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office and provides continuing education for experienced mediators.
As an investigative and applied science writer, Amy is an award-winning nationally syndicated columnist and author, most recently of the “science-help” book, “Unf*ckology: A Field Guide to Living with Guts and Confidence”. She gives talks on applied science to solve problems and improve lives, and hosted the award-winning behavioral science podcast, “HumanLab.”
Amy predicts that the mediation table will increasingly overtake the courtroom as the way people resolve disputes in the future, and the book that influenced her most is The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins, because it led her to the intense study of evolutionary psychology.