ANGER MANAGEMENT – EPISODE 5

ARBITRATION + MEDIATION #265

RUDYARD KIPLING’S “IF”

Rudyard Kipling is a famous character in English Literature. He endured a harsh upbringing at the hands of foster parents + suffered in later years with the deaths of two of his three children in their adolescent years. He also, controversially, extolled the achievements of Imperialism in his writings. So, what is his relevance to Dispute Resolution?

It is this. Kipling wrote a much quoted poem which opened with the words “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you” and he concluded with the words “you’ll be a Man, my son”.

Kipling is talking about life + challenges and how people under pressure should behave. Dispute Resolution is about many things – personalities, the law, group meetings and more. It is also about pressure + there are circumstances when you as Chair are challenged. Pressure builds, restraint is cast aside, the sap rises, the blood pressure increases, beads of perspiration gather on your forehead, your palms become clammy. You know what I mean. You have been there. It happens. And when it does you can do no better than heed Kiplings’ words – Keep Your Head!

Stay calm. Don’t rise to the bait. Don’t get personal. Stay objective. Remember who you are and what your job is. Don’t go Head to Head. Buy time. Take a break. Look at yourself in the mirror and mouth the word “Kipling”.

Thankfully moments like this arise only rarely but it means you are probably not prepared. You have not anticipated it. Things suddenly happen and you need to be sufficiently a Professional to sense it, see it and be ahead and not behind.

Dispute Resolution is an unexciting job description. People are asleep before you reach the last syllable. But we who practice arbitration and mediation know just how stimulating + challenging is the process. So be proud of your work and work hard to improve your skills. Most of All? Keep Your Head!

26 JULY 2022 – ANGER MANAGEMENT AND MEDIATION

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