Happy Holidays!
This year has been a tough year for many, and it is a reminder of all we have to be thankful for. I am always grateful for your business, loyalty, and support, and hope that your days will be filled with peace, hope, and joy this Holiday Season.

Please enjoy some mediation tips, family activity ideas, Christmas recipes, a message from Tim and more! Best wishes and Happy Holidays!

Tim Corcoran 
Redlands Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc
Negotiating with Difficult People
Whether you are negotiating with a family member, a colleague or the most obnoxious counterpart. there are some easy to use tools to overcome the most difficult conversations. In "Getting Past No" William Ury sets forth five steps for dealing the difficult opponent. 
Go to the Balcony: When someone pushes your button, don't get angry. Instead, take yourself mentally to a higher place where you can look down objectively on the dispute and plan your response.
Disarm Them by Stepping to Their Side: Instead of listening just to respond to the other side. listen carefully: ask questions to try to understand their perspective. Change the Game: Reframe. When your difficult opponent is pushing you down a path you don't want to go just change the game! Stop and simply go onto something else. i.e. what about those Dodgers???
Make it Easy to Say Yes: Look for ways to let your opponent save face and feel like he is getting his way! Build a Golden Bridge so he can gracefully retreat.
Make it Hard to Say No! Bring the other side to their senses. not their knees. Help them understand consequences and your alternatives and they may be open to reason. 
Things to Do While
Home for the Holidays

Need some ideas for activities while you are cooped up at home? Some of us dream of the day when we have some time on our hands to do things we always wanted to do while others can’t figure out how to escape the frustration of being unable to visit friends and family or how to get outside the four walls of their home. So, here are some ideas to get you doing something out of your comfort zone.
  1. Go on an evening of viewing Holiday decorations with some hot chocolate and cookies.
  2. Learn how to play family games on Zoom like Pictionary, Scattergories, Guess Who, 20 Questions, Cards Against Humanity or Charades.
  3. Plan a movie marathon.
  4. Enjoy the Hallmark Channel.
  5. Drive to a Christmas Tree Farm and cut down your own tree…. let your inner Clark Griswold take over.
  6. Have a Sunday Dinner time on Zoom or Facetime with extended family or friends.
  7. Create your favorite playlist—Holiday songs: Christmas, Valentine’s Day romance songs, 4th of July Patriotic songs or Summer Surf and tropical songs!
  8. Have family game time…. there are lots of board or card games!
  9. Practice being a better cook—create a frittata, strudel or maybe a garlic crusted prime rib!
  10. Listen to FOX and CNN news and get all riled up!
  11. Set up an elaborate Holiday Lights Display in your yard and bring joy to all your neighbors (and it is fun to do!)
  12. Send short emails to friends and let them know you are thinking of them
  13. Develop a new hobby—woodworking, baking, crafting, knitting or learn a new language.
  14. Read for enjoyment or explore Audible!
  15. Foster a pet—help an unwanted cat, dog, racoon…!
  16. Start journaling—write a short story about your life, interesting cases you have worked on, weird opponents on cases.
  17. Go on Day Trip drives and explore the world around you that we overlook, take for granted or just seem to see how things around us change.

You can insist on using the mediator of your choice!
When selecting the mediator for your next case, insist the mediator of your choice be used. The other side may object and suggest someone else and refuse to use your choice. Don't let it end there; double-down and insist the other side agree to your choice, AND explain to the other side WHY you want this neutral. Lawyers tell me I help them explain important things to the client well (e.g., Liability, Damages, Causation, Risks. Options, Costs of trial. Nuances of medical or legal issues. Perceptions of the Court or jury). They say that I have a unique ability to help clients temper expectations or I broaden their perspectives. And I know that the attorney recognizes my transparency in the negotiation, and they trust any evaluative comments I make when asked. If your favorite mediator does this for you, then insist the other side agree to your choice!
Zoom Fatigue in Mediation

Video conferencing, whether on Zoom, Facetime, Skype, GO To Meeting or any virtual platform, can cause physical and mental health challenges. I believe it is particularly onerous for mediators, arbitrators or anyone “hosting” the conference, but Zoom Fatigue will affect all of us who are on a computer screen for extended periods of time.
Causes of Zoom Fatigue include: extended exposure to blue light emitted from the computer screen, intense mental focus on the speaker creating a form of tunnel vision, sub-consciously trying to avoid distractions on the screen such as background (virtual and live), individual focus on each participant in gallery view, focus on a little red dot (the camera), and ignoring all the other folks in the conference but sub-consciously searching for them to observe facial expressions and body language. In other words, intense mental and visual focus on a limited visual field while the brain instantaneously collects, organizes, analyzes and filters what you see and hear so the appropriate response comes out of your mouth.
Symptoms of Zoom Fatigue include exhaustion, headache, blurred vision, dry, itching and burning eyes, pain behind your eyes, tiredness, difficulty keeping your eyes open, inability to focus on the meeting, sensitivity to light, neck and shoulder pain. At the end of a six to ten-hour mediation I can feel completely worn out, disoriented and like I am a giant tub of jello!
Remedies for Zoom Fatigue include resting your eyes (close your eyes or look away for a few seconds), improve lighting conditions (brighten the room or look outside for natural light), sit further away from the screen, take breaks (go to the bathroom, get a snack, walk around other rooms in your home, go outside and get some fresh air for one or two minutes), check for messages, stand up and stretch or try looking at something twenty feet away for twenty seconds (the 2020 Zone!).
If you have any additional thoughts on this topic send me an email.

Christmas Recipes
Tim's Sausage and Cheddar Cheese Balls
Prep: 10 mins
Bake: 16 minutes
Temp: 400 degrees
1lb Jimmy Dean Sausage (I prefer Hot)
1cup grated cheddar cheese
1cup Bisquick
Salt, pepper garlic & jalapenos to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Combine and mix and roll into balls approx. 1 ¼ inches in diameter.
Bake for 16 minutes

These are really good. Enjoy!
Magic Cookie Bars
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 30 min
Yield: 2 dozen bars
Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 cups (12 oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups (12 oz. pkg.) butterscotch chips
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts
HEAT oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 13 x 9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.
COMBINE graham cracker crumbs and butter in small bowl. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with chocolate chips, coconut and nuts. Press down firmly with fork.
BAKE 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Loosen from sides of pan while still warm; cool on wire rack. Cut into bars or diamonds.

A Holiday Message from Tim
2020 has been a formidable challenge for all of us. We all know someone who has been a victim of the pandemic. Linda and I are healthy and embracing the changes this year has brought. Our kids are well: Shawn and his family are in Ohio and Courtney, her husband and new-born son are in Texas while Brad and Alex are here in Idaho attending Boise State University. Like many of you, we are not able to visit the out of state family members nor meet our newest grandson in person but Zoom, Skype and Facetime have been wonderful additions to the new normal.  

We pray a vaccine will be found soon to halt this terrible virus, that those suffering from the virus will completely recover and all those affected economically by the virus will get back on track.

I have been fortunate to conduct my mediations from our home in Hidden Springs, Idaho via the Zoom platform since March. Despite occasional Zoom Fatigue I enjoy the virtual experience and believe I am more effective than ever in the breakout rooms. It appears virtual meetings are here to stay while I anticipate being able to travel for face to face meetings by early Summer next year.

I want to thank you for your patronage, trust and confidence in permitting me to help you resolve your litigated disputes for another year. I am passionate about dispute resolution and grateful God gives me the strength to help make a difference in your client’s lives and thankful for the opportunity you give me to do that.

We wish you and your family a wonderful Holiday Season and pray that you stay safe and healthy.

Redlands Arbitration and
Mediation Services

Tim Corcoran
Tel: 909.798.4554