We have established that a DR has to have character and the other previously specified personal qualities – integrity and the rest. But he/she also has to possess courage. It is often difficult for a new DR, or an established but retiring (shy) DR. You have seen something that you do not like or cannot accept. You sense you are in a minority and saying something means that you are swimming against the tide. You are a jovial person and get on with people but if you stand back and appraise yourself you tend in life to take the easy option, the soft alternative. Anything is better than disagreement, argument or conflict – you rationalise.
And yet you are now an arbitrator with a S33 duty emblazoned across your forehead. You have to be fair. You have to be impartial. You have to go with what you believe is right. That does not mean that you have to be outspoken or getting into arguments or raising the temperature. Differences can, and should be, reasoned through. But you have to stand up. You have to say something. And if communication is not your first skill and you tend to get tongue tied quickly and lose your flow – it does not matter. Just make your point. Say what it is that is on your mind. Your words when you utter them are not a test of eloquence but a test of character. What you say is more important than how you say it.
So take a deep breath and set off – “Excuse me but can I raise a point that is bothering me. I may be entirely wrong and I recognise that some of you will have more experience than me but I will feel quite uncomfortable if I let it slide past without raising it. My point is this…” and you are off. The words may be untidy – it does not matter at all. The point will be made. Well done. You have acted in accordance with S33.
EPISODE 3 – 10 JUNE 2022