Silke Hansen

Senior Conciliation Specialist, Community Relations Service

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 ???).

Even understanding the difference between demand and interests. For anyone with any mediation training, that sounds, "yes of course," but really understanding that piece and internalizing that is so important. You set the agenda and issues. Not the parties because the parties come with demands. They come with what they think they need. But if they say they think that the police chief should be fired or they want a superintendent fired because they are racist. How do you help the party get from that point to recognizing what would be different with that department if you had different leadership. The solution isn't necessarily firing somebody are getting rid of somebody, rather finding how you want that system to work. If it worked well, what would it look like for you. Those points can actually be presented at the mediation table. If you only discuss whether or not to fire somebody there won't be a lot of discussion. There won't be a lot of give-and-take at the table. You either do or you don't.