Advice to Third Parties

Marcia Caton Campbell

Assistant Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Interviewed by Julian Portilla, 2003

This rough transcript provides a text alternative to audio. We apologize for occasional errors and unintelligible sections (which are marked with ???).

The two most critical things you can learn, I think, are how to listen and how to shut up. I think there are probably a number of mediators who would say the same thing. You have to have a high tolerance for tension and uncertainty as things unfold. I think you have to have a great deal of patience. These kinds of conflicts and issues don't get resolved very quickly. So you have to be prepared to stick with something, especially if you are doing consensus building or collaborative processes around issues that appear to be intractable. I guess I haven't made a good distinction between that and mediation, and I guess I won't. You have to have a tolerance for being there over the long haul. It takes a lot of time, especially if you do the kind of work I do. It takes a lot of time to gain the trust of the community in which you work.