AN ANXIOUS NEW ARBITRATOR – EPISODE 6

Written by Graham Perry

Graham Perry M.A. Cantab FCIArb Experienced Arbitration Lawyer | China & Chinese Business Affairs | Public Speaker/Lecturer

27 May 2022

ARBITRATION #228

DAVIDA AND GOLIATH

Two separate points; first, did Arbitrator B choose the right words, say the right things?

Well, Yes. She wants to express concerns. She is nervous about what she says – also English is not her first language. Does she have the strength/courage to talk in these terms? How is A going to respond? Will there be a big falling out as A “hits the roof” or will A be rocked back on his heels, be contrite + apologetic?

As it happens, A is quite taken aback. He has not been addressed in these terms by any fellow arbitrator before. And yet he is more shocked than provoked – first with B’s actual words + then by the fact that B is female not male. The latter does leave A perplexed. B is new, quiet, not demonstrative or assertive but restrained + softly spoken. A is confident, assertive with quite a lot of bluster. Davida and Goliath perhaps.

Chair C is also stirred by B’s words + low-key manner. C recognises that he has been reactive not pro-active. He has allowed himself to be pressured by A. He realises he has lost some self-respect. He is also knocked back by B’s intervention and starts to ask himself questions about his work as an arbitrator. Is he “too chummy”? Is he friendship driven rather than issue driven? Is being an arbitrator really just being a member of a Club?

In this instance and on these facts, B wins the day though being the modest person she is she does not see it in such competitive terms. C recovers his composure + focus. He goes “back to basics” and begins to act as a Chair in charge of the reference.

But it could so easily have gone wrong?

FINAL EPISODE 7 – 1 JULY 2022

REFRESHER TRAINING FOR ARBITRATORS?

Episode

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