I heard a talk at the Southern California Mediation Associationconference last week, by a Dutch mediator Fredrike Bannink, who described her solution-focused method of conducting mediation, which minimizes talking about the problem that caused the conflict, and instead concentrates on strategies that might work to resolve and prevent conflicts. Rather than asking the parties to argue their positions, she asks them questions like, What are your hopes? What difference would it make if the conflict could be resolved? What strategies are working for you? What would be the next steps to solving this problem?