So many conflicts seem to arise out of a simple lack of tolerance. Whether it arises from diversity of style, world-view, religion, values or backgrounds, folks sometimes just shut down and refuse to engage with others–and then trouble brews. This is a family photo from our vacation this week. We are multi-ethnic, four generations, ranging in age this year from 4 months to 89 years. We are an eclectic brood, with several different religious backgrounds and practices, some of different sexual orientation, a few different ethnicities, and even a few of differing political persuasions. But we share a consistent value of placing family and mutual respect and tolerance at the forefront of everything we do. My fervent hope is that in the next generation, most American families will represent a blend like ours–and create a natural process of balance, diversity, acceptance, tolerance and even an embrace for differences. My hope is that this then translates into businesses, schools, the workplace and the government.
This next generation of the American family may well serve to balance out the rough edges of intolerance, prejudice and fear of other groups or individuals. It may put mediators out of business, but I’m guessing there will always be a demand for the facilitator who can shine a light on the true value of communication over perpetuate conflicts arising out of fear, distrust and a lack of understanding of other points of view.
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.