I've taken a few months off from blogging during which I fear I may have become complacent with my own techniques and absorbed in a sense of competence in my mediation efforts. Then today I read about a Business leader who spoke of "leading from the back of the room" and I was struck by the notion that I had risen to the position of leadership where I take a seat which is not rightfully my own. That is an important reminder that I thought I would share. Though mediators may think we know the best way to resolve a particular dispute, leading from the front of the room can be so dangerous. Because at the end of the day, if the parties haven't come to the terms on their own, by their own volition, it may feel forced even though successful. That result is what we expect from the Court. A judge or jury may superimpose their decisions upon the parties. But mediation is supposed to be different. A reminder to lead from the back of the room--instead of the podium where the Judge sits, was really a great message for me.
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 needs of their representatives with the risk and expenses of trial. Those who have used Ms. Schau’s services recognize excellence in her persistence, optimism, creativity and integrity.
Ms. Schau was the President of the Southern California Mediation Association in 2007 and is recognized as among the most outstanding mediators in Southern California in the mediation of civil disputes by her peers and clients. She also serves as a Trustee of the Board of Directors of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association, and has presided as Chair of it’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Section and Litigation Section. She holds a Certificate of Advanced Skills in Negotiation from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution of Pepperdine University as well as from the Western Law Center for Disability Rights at Loyola Law School.