I was always a bossy little girl. So it was with great interest that I read an interview in this morning's New York Times of Susan Doeherty, who leads the United States Sales, service and marketing of General Motors. Her natural demeanor was instructive for me as a mediator in these ways. First, she recognized that communication is essential. "It needs to be simple. It needs to be consistent. And even when you're tired of what the message is, you need to do it again and again, because everybody comes to the table with a different perspective and a different experience"..."On some very key things, people need to internalize it, and they need to own it." Second, she says, "The best way to counteract coming across as being bossy would be to ask others what they thought." Third, she sits in a different chair at each meeting, to keep her meetings "dynamic". If it's good enough for GM, it's good enough for me. These are, in fact, essential lessons for mediation. And by the way, does anyone remember a male CEO being criticized for being "bossy"?
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.