"It’s our firm conviction that a set of practices designed and intended to help people become more skillful at resolving conflicts is one way we can nudge the world, one strengthened relationship at a time, toward solving the growing number of problems that result from breakdowns in interpersonal relationships."
Jack Hamilton, Ph.D.
"Being heard, you hear yourself."
Jack Hamilton is an inquisitive man. And this attitude, in tandem with his love for people, has led him to and sustained him through his wide-ranging career as a mediator.
When he was on a third date with his future wife, Myllicent, Jack had an epiphany: Listening is an act of love.
Myllicent asked, “Well, Jack, why don’t you tell me about your love life?” Jack complied, telling her about all his past girlfriends and a former fiancée. She simply listened. “Being listened to like that changed our whole relationship. I felt like I was known to her.” (During a subsequent conversation, Jack asked his wife about her love life, too.)
Jack said, “In mediation, it is very critical that the disputants experience being heard by the mediator and by one another. Being heard has a transformational impact on a person’s state of being. They’re relieved that ‘somebody really got it.’”
Convinced that we are at a time in the world when embracing diversity among people and groups is of vital importance, Jack is on a mission as a conflict-resolution professional to teach people how to realize their potential of coming to a truer understanding of each other. He said, “The reality is that adversaries are people who have not yet heard each other's stories.”
Jack has held positions as an instructor at Stanford University, as a senior research scientist at the American Institutes for Research, as director of executive services at the Institute for Information Management, and as co-founder of The Information Group, Inc. He holds a B.A. from Harvard, an M.A. from the University of California, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Stanford.
“I’ve always been interested in anything that can help make peace between people.
I took to mediation like a duck takes to water.”
Elisabeth Seaman is a Holocaust survivor. In a KQED interview with Rachel Myrow, Elisabeth explains that her experience in the concentration camp as a young child eventually led to a career in professional mediation and “a personal commitment to helping resolve conflicts before they develop into catastrophes.” Read The Holocaust Survivor Who Made Resolving Conflicts Her Life’s Work” by Rachel Myrow, KQED.
Since 1982, Elisabeth has mediated with individuals and groups to help them reach mutually satisfactory resolutions to their conflicts. In her career she has, together with Jack Hamilton and other business partners and associates, presented communication skills in workshops and seminars related to conflict management, team building, diversity, and violence prevention. Together they have trained board members, managers, and staff to develop and motivate teams and to deal effectively and constructively with disputes that impact productivity and the workplace atmosphere.
Elisabeth has coached individuals in productive communication for personal and professional purposes. She has presented at national and international conferences and has published articles relating to conflict resolution. She studied at the University of California, Berkeley, and received a B.S. in Education from Boston University.