ARBITRATION + MEDIATION #264
CHARM FIRST, CONFRONTATION SECOND – EPISODE 3
Dispute Resolution – arbitration or mediation – is a collegiate process. We are “all in it together”. We all have different roles (Chair, Wingers, Advocates, Solicitors) but we are all part of the same whole + the starting point is not to go looking for war but to stay on the path of peace. So, use charm, reason, respect, positivity + look for the things in common. Resist the temptation to be abrasive, unreasonable, disrespectful or negative – especially at the start. There may come a time during the process when you as Chair do have to be assertive, even straightforward or blunt, but that is a last resort + not the first.
Therefore, without conveying any sense of weakness of leadership, do use words that embrace, rather than isolate, all the participants in the process. Keep them onside + save them from their own mistakes, their own errors even their own bad temper. It is a fine line between being “too nice” and “too harsh” and it requires skill to maintain pleasantness when you are being provoked but you can do it – good dispute resolvers instinctively know how to handle difficulty – all the more so if they have undergone training + engaged in role play on a narrative that is close to actual events.
How to be strong when you want to continue to be nice?– that is a skill. How about the following words from the Chair as strains begin to appear – “a little tension has crept into the proceedings. That is not a surprise as dispute resolution does stir views + feelings. That said, we all want to work within the acceptable rhythms of the process + each of us has a part to play in keeping matters on the right side, and not the wrong side, of disagreement.” Don’t rush your words but don’t linger either. And make sure “and not the wrong side” is said with a little deliberation. Good eye contact works as well.
EPISODE 4. 22 JULY 2022
SEEING “THE WHITES OF THEIR EYES”