ANGER MANAGEMENT – EPISODE 2
Episode 1 concluded with the three arbitrators mentally preparing themselves for aggravation – a word that covers a variety of antagonistic behaviours. And the mature, experienced Chair needs to be ready to adopt the right response to each incident. That is not so easy, especially if your arbitral training overlooked the issue of anger management. But anger comes in different forms and the priority for the Chair – and the Wingers – is to assess the anger. What are its origins? Is it merely a one-off cloudburst or a series of heavy showers?
The Chair needs to read events + incidents objectively not subjectively. The Golden Rule – Don’t Allow Yourself To Get Stung – whatever the provocation. Think + analyse + discuss with your Wingers before you make a decisive intervention. Sometimes you do not have time and a time bomb has exploded. But even then, you can make a meaningful intervention by saying – “Time For A 15 Minute Break”.
You discuss with your wingers + decide on the favoured response. It is akin to being a referee in a hotly contested soccer match or a Wimbledon Umpire with Kirygos in the game. You need to keep your composure + ensure you are not provoked. Remember that one or other of the parties may be trying to test you + see how far they can go in imposing their preferred position upon you.
You also need to remain yourself + react in a way that is consistent with your make up and character. And here ‘personality’ comes into the equation as well. People are different. We may all reach the same destination but along the way we may employ different approaches. I do remember when I was an Immigration Judge and two experienced advocates – both female – were swapping snide comments. And in a low key way I said – “every referee wonders when to produce a Yellow Card even a Red Card but I am sure I can rely on your good instincts to keep both cards in my pocket”. Wry smiles replaced angry body language.
EPISODE 3. 21 JULY 2022.
CHARM IS A STRENGTH NOT A WEAKNESS.