DAVIDA AND GOLIATH
Final words of Episode 6… “But it could so easily have gone wrong”.
Let’s consider the alternative scenarios.
B could have been intimidated + then refrained from saying anything. A would have pushed even more vigorously for his favoured outcome + C would have remained low key. Alternatively, B could have been aggressive + personal + provoked A who would have become even more forceful + persistent. And C, the Chair? He would have been even more browbeaten, acquiescent + ineffective.
Generally arbitrators know the norms of conduct in the retiring room and are balanced, well-behaved + tolerant. But “generally” is not “all the time”. Behaviour can vary as people do have different norms of conduct and manners. Human Beings vary.
But aside from behavioural issues, there is also the questions of prejudice + bias. Sensitive and awkward subjects to discuss but a “must” if arbitration standards are to be maintained + improved. Do we recognise our own prejudice or spot our own bias. We need to be rigorous with ourselves and be on the alert for these negatives. Our aim always should be to do our best; to achieve the highest standards – not occasionally but on every occasion. We need to be alert, aware, responsible + ever-mindful of the duty to perform at the highest level all the time.
We must never go through the motions, or become “samey”, or drop our motivation or allow our standards + those of the Tribunal to become compromised. But is this taught? Are these issues discussed? Is there a module in the training programme when we focus on ourselves + our standards? Do we ever look in the mirror? High standards do not just happen. They are taught but they also need to be embraced.
Tomorrow – back to Mediation + a new narrative designed to highlight problems and dilemmas that confront Mediators as they go about their work.