You have chaired a four-day arbitration Appeal with 4 fellow arbitrators. The Hearing is over. The Award has been published. There is no S57 application. You have reached the end of the case.
Well, not quite because you still need to carry out an evaluation. And this is a struggle. Other work is pressing – you have documents to read, directions to issue, drafts to approve. And yet evaluation is such a valuable tool of reflective analysis. A variation of that famous cheeky question “How Was It For You?”
Were you in overall control of the reference?
Did you get the balance right between “leading” and “listening”
Did the admin interfere too much?
Were the Board members too active or too quiet?
Did you all read the papers and grasp the issues + the evidence
Were your directions clear or confused?
Were you ahead of the parties or did you follow in their wake?
Did you get the best out of the Board?
If not, why not?
What could you have done differently?
Have you done right by the parties?
Does the loser know why he/she lost?
Have you maintained the standards of the appointing authority?
Many questions – but all valid. And all necessary. We need audits – for two reasons; first, to spot any errors to avoid repetition and, second, to keep our standards high. We are professionals doing a professional job. Self-improvement is essential if the service we provide is to be maintained.
And a final point – do not overlook the advantage that comes from peer group supervision. A kind of “best friend” initiative where you speak with a colleague and ask him/her to interrogate you. Quietly, confidentially but persistently identify each of the points. There is no better way to maintain and improve standards.
More on this Issue on 2 August 2021