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Authenticity and Angels

This has been an introspective week, colored in large part upon two women mediators who I hardly knew, but touched me deeply. On Tuesday, I heard Linda Meyer speak on “Authenticity” in mediation. Linda urged a group of SCMA members to seek out our true selves and approach every individual with our own humanity. She gave us permission to be “in the room” and a part of the process. She reminded us that settling a case was the easy part of a mediation–but connecting with the parties in conflict was our true art.

Then on Thursday my colleague and fellow woman mediator, Holly Spevak succumbed to her battle with cancer. I only met Holly on one occasion, through a mutual friend, Susan Bulfinch. Holly had a website www.spevaklaw.com for her visitors’ comments. I spent about 30 minutes yesterday reviewing how this elegant woman had touched lives–from Junior High to her own law students in so many ways. It made me think about the insularity of our business, and about the concomitant far reaching potential we hold. Although many of our clients will only see us once, we have the chance to touch them, to reach them, to connect to them in ways that may change their lives forever. This was clearly Holly’s legacy. Happy Mother’s Day to my readers (who of course include my own mom!). May the wisdom of our foremother’s be forever in the forefront of our minds and hearts.

                        author

Jan Frankel Schau

Attorney Jan Frankel Schau is a highly skilled neutral, engaged in full-time dispute resolution. Following a successful career spanning two decades in litigation, she has mediated over 700 cases for satisfied clients. Ms. Schau understands the nuances of trial and settlement practice as well as client relations and balancing the… MORE >

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