Kathy Beckwith is a mediation trainer from Dayton, Oregon, having worked for over two decades with schools (K-12) and community mediation programs. She has mediated for parent/teen, victim/offender, and neighborhood mediation cases, and volunteers as a school mediation coach.

Kathy is an author. Her most recent book is A MIGHTY CASE AGAINST WAR: What America Missed in U.S. History Class and What We (All) Can Do Now, published by Dignity Press. She is also author of the picture book Playing War; a YA novel, Critical Mass, dealing with sexual abuse in the lives of teens; and two books related to problem-solving –an elementary school curriculum guide, DON’T SHOOT! We May Both Be on the Same Side, and a picture resource book, If You Choose Not to Hit: A Dozen Skills That Make Kids Powerful Problem-Solvers.

Kathy is a graduate of Northwest Nazarene University, Nampa, Idaho (Business Administration), and did a semester of advanced study with the University of the Seven Seas (World Campus Afloat, now “Semester at Sea”). She and her husband Wayne were Peace Corps Volunteers in India, working with a horticulture program in Karnataka. She is a mom and grandma, and a baker of blackberry pies in the summer.


                                

                 toolbox    Toolbox Skills for Today    parrot              

                                   

A parrot is a tool? No, but it is a reminder of the #1 top communication tool that helps us really listen to others. Parrots repeat what they hear. We don’t “parrot back” what someone has said, but we do “Bounce Back” for them. We listen and then put in our own words, sincerely, what we’ve just heard them say. That keeps us from responding defensively or in anger. It also lets us make sure we’ve heard correctly, and it lets the other person know we’re listening and want to understand their viewpoint. That changes things!


Instead of saying, “Come on! I was only ten minutes late. It couldn’t have been that big of a deal!” you can Bounce Back what they said: “So when I was late, you were worried that I might not show at all, and you were counting on me to be there to help you set up the display?” Give them a chance to say more. Keep listening and Bouncing Back until you know they feel understood. I keep a paper parrot on my kitchen wall to help me remember to Bounce Back instead of Pounce Back.