Mullen Mediation & Communication, LLC

Mullen Mediation & Communication Services

            "A crisis is a terrible thing to waste." - Paul Romer, Stanford Economist

We began MM&C after working separately for many years assisting people with conflict and communication problems. Our combined expertise is now available to assist you with mediation, communication coaching, and group facilitation.

All growth begins with conflict, or struggle - every seed, child, couple, work group, business, and organization. Conflict is inevitable, but it's also true that conflict can be usefully employed, and that wounding and scar tissue can be avoided. This description of our orientation to conflict is intended to help you understand how you might utilize this fact of life, rather than being frustrated and consumed by it.

We don't believe in a unified theory of how best to deal with conflict. No one approach is always appropriate or effective, but in our experience, ignoring critical areas of disagreement or resorting to litigation should be the last resort.

Three themes define our approach to assisting clients: First, before selecting among methods to intervene in your conflict, we will want to gain an understanding of you and the setting in which disagreement is occurring.

Second, we place great importance on helping people move beyond a sense of helplessness. It can be difficult to see the proverbial forest for the trees, but with help in clarifying, understanding, and communicating perspectives, people are quite often capable of solving what seem to be insurmountable problems fairly rapidly.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, we believe that successfully negotiating conflict has more to do with a way of thinking than it does with specific procedures and intervention tools. Effective assistance with conflict is the result of a combination of personal skills, substantive knowledge, and familiarity with concepts which link theories about conflict with practice. 


Mediation, or facilitated conversation, is a cornerstone of our practice. Again, there is the forest and there are the trees. Conversation between adversaries can quickly degenerate into argument about unrelated matters. Perceptions, feelings, and behaviors are at work, and they affect one another. What is in conflict can change, and the sense of a moving target can be unproductive and frustrating.

Organizing the approach to unpacking what is at the heart of disagreement can transform the conversation, and mediation customized to fit your circumstance offers significant advantages over more traditional ways of addressing conflict. Mediation is private, confidential, and typically less expensive than a lawsuit.

Furthermore, it is usually far less stressful. Mediation allows the parties to retain control of their dispute, and it offers a wider array of solutions than is available to a judge. This flexibility allows consideration of the unique features of your family, group, or organization.


We are interested in assisting groups which are intent on surfacing and transforming problematic relationships, enhancing teamwork, and/or planning for change constructively. Strategic planning can be initiated by couples, families, or groups who want to be targeted about their goals, relationships, or problems.

We see great value in helping groups be intentional, in focusing attention on developing and then acting deliberately to achieve shared goals. Traditional strategic planning may be helpful, but it can also be limiting. Commonly, strategic planning begins when a vision is defined. Objectives and goals are then formulated, barriers identified, and action plans are developed.

Our group facilitation work goes beyond these traditional elements by harnessing elements of systems theory and an appreciation for group ingenuity and resourcefulness. We work to help group members recognize and develop as a community of accountable individuals. When purpose deeper than isolated self-interest is identified and embraced by group members, questions tend to shift from the nature of the struggle to the nature of solutions.

A plan equipped with meaningful feedback opportunities is more likely to prompt individual responsibility for group outcomes. The couple, the members of a family, the work group, and the organization can then properly own the results of their planning and more fully embrace efforts to achieve their vision.


Enhancing communication skills is integral to our mediation and group facilitation services; however some clients also look to us for one-on-one coaching - sometimes in relation to a particular setting, and sometimes to develop skills they wish to generalize.

All of us are imperfect communicators, and I may not hear what you mean to say - or vice versa. Furthermore, it is inherently challenging to communicate complex matters, and even more so when emotions run high.

Improved communication is not beyond reach. There are many skills to be learned that can contribute to more satisfying communication in general, and provide significant help in dealing with serious conflict as well. Sometimes just the process of clarification greatly supports increased composure and connection.

The goal of our communication coaching is to help clients communicate with confidence, integrity, and wisdom. Wisdom in this context involves many things, but chief among them is listening empathetically for what is beneath words. We help clients by showing them how to cultivate awareness, authenticity, and the ability to engage with others more successfully. One way to think of communication coaching is as a personal form of strategic planning.
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