Find Mediators Near You:

Make No Assumptions

There is some logic to wearing a mask when you are about to commit a crime: you don’t want to reveal your true face. We all wear masks from one time to the next. I appear different when I’m at the gym than at the office and even differently when I’m arbitrating a case than doing case follow ups by phone. As a mediator or a litigator, it’s important to remember that every individual is unique and may defy your expectations of their characteristics. For example, a very young woman with a soft voice may be very powerful in the context of her family-owned business, or an elderly, frail looking man may be one of those “Super Agers” who has unbelievably accurate recall of facts and events that may exceed his lawyer and paralegals put together! A banker may be less facile with numbers than with literature and a school teacher may be defiant about learning lessons. Mediation works best when we indulge every participant in a genuine interview designed to understand what lies beneath the mask that they may have donned for the hearing. Once we determine the critical driving factors, very often the dispute can be resolved with less pain and shame than the masked hold up that it sometimes appears to be.

May this New Year, for those who observe Rosh Hashanah, bring a renewed commitment to treat every individual as unique and valuable, without pre-judgment. L’Shana Tova.

                        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 >

Featured Members

ad
View all

Read these next

Category

The Edinburgh Declaration of International Mediators

From the Kluwer Arbitration blogI write this in the aftermath of the really uplifting and wonderfully diverse conference which I had the privilege to host and chair recently in my...

By John Sturrock
Category

The Hypothetical or Trial Balloon Tactic

PGP Mediation Blog by Phyllis G. PollackMy husband and I recently went on a cruise. One of the stops was Nassau, Bahamas. While my husband was looking for something in...

By Phyllis Pollack
Category

3 Conflict Strategies That Don’t Always Work

Conflicts of Interest Blog by Vivian Scott If you’ve ever had any kind of training in how to get along with others, you were probably taught some basic tactics to...

By Vivian Scott
×