Stay up to date on everything mediation!

Subscribe to our free newsletter,
"This Week in Mediation"

Sign Up Now

Already subscribed No subscription today
Mediate.com

I'm Just an Old Troublemaker

by Vivian Scott
May 2011

From Vivian Scott's Conflicts Of InterestBlog

Vivian Scott

“You? A mediator? If I remember correctly, weren’t you kind of a troublemaker?”

This question came from a buddy of mine I hadn’t seen in a while. We had worked together a long time ago and recently met for coffee to go over old times and catch up with one another. His memory of our working years together may have been slightly different than mine, but his recollection of me most likely had some truth to it. I will say, though, that if he meant I was a troublemaker as in drama queen who can’t stand a quiet moment and has to stir up dust wherever she goes; then, no, I wasn’t a troublemaker. If he meant troublemaker as in not being afraid to talk about the elephant in the room; then, yes, that was probably me. And, thank goodness! Because, you see, a lot of my experience as a troublemaker then has made me a better mediator today.

Stay with me now. In order to be fearless enough to point out the elephant in the room one must first be able to see the elephant—the entire elephant, not just the side one chooses to identify. Similarly, to resolve problems effectively one has to have the willingness to see all sides of an issue. You have to be comfortable with looking at everything surrounding an issue like understanding motivation and accepting your part in a conflict. And, that ability doesn’t always come easy or is seen as a good thing by those around you.

Once upon a time I thought that my coworkers were better at analyzing group dynamics and identifying individual motivation than I was because my assessment of what was happening with our team often didn’t match their diagnoses. If majority rules; I was wrong a lot. It wasn’t until I had more experience under my belt and then worked hard at a new career as a mediator that I realized I actually did know what I was talking about. I had skills! Thankfully, I’m now much better at identifying and communicating my observations.

So, if being called a troublemaker means that I’m not willing to stand by and pretend that I don’t see the person in the cubicle across from me fibbing to the boss or that it feels strange to me to ignore the fact that an AWOL coworker was shopping while the rest of us set-up the entire booth at the sales conference, well then I guess I’m a troublemaker. As a well-rounded troublemaker I also made sure to acknowledge those who worked hard, those who had innovative ideas, and those who really did have the company’s best interest at heart. I suppose that’s why, after all these years, my buddy still considers me a friend.

Biography


Vivian Scott is a Professional Certified Mediator and the author of Conflict Resolution at Work For Dummies.  She spent many years in the competitive and often stress-filled world of high tech marketing where she realized resolving conflict within the confines of office politics was paramount to success.  Through creative solutions to common conflicts she was able to bring various entities together, both internally and externally, for the betterment of projects and a productive working environment.     

Prior to retiring from Microsoft in 1999 she developed the “America at Work” video series, a six-part program featuring small businesses employing technology in attention-grabbing ways.  “America at Work” aired on the USA Network and received the Silver Screen Award from the International Film and Video Festival for outstanding creativity.   Using discerning negotiation, mediation, and problem-solving skills, she successfully worked with others to co-create “How-to Guides”, “Seminar in a Box”, and even one of the first on-line Guerrilla Marketing books.   

Since her retirement, Ms. Scott has gone on to earn a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences with a concentration in American Studies from the University of Washington.  She completed an extensive practicum with the Dispute Resolution Center of Snohomish & Island Counties where she has mediated numerous cases, helping parties resolve conflict in workplace, family, and other disputes.  Her private mediation practice has handled cases ranging from assisting business partners in ending their relationship to creating a new working environment within a law firm.  Ms. Scott is a member of the Washington Mediation Association and spends a majority of her time advocating embracing peace in a volatile world.   

Her book, Conflict Resolution at Work For Dummies, can be found in bookstores, on www.amazon.com, www.dummies.com, or any number of on-line bookseller sites.    



Email Author
Website: www.vivianscottmediation.com

Additional articles by Vivian Scott

Comments