Tiger Woods played his hardest match today when he made a public apology to his fans, business partners and supporters. It was humble. It was sincere. And it was personal. The timing was his own, based not upon a public outcry or demand, but based upon his own personal journey towards accepting responsibility for his bad behavior. It worked for me. I'm not sure that it changes his past, but I am sure that a sincere apology has the potential to change future relationships for the better. It doesn't happen routinely in mediation. When there is a sincere and humble explanation for bad conduct, and a request for forgiveness, coupled with a pledge to change or correct it, it can simply diffuse a conflict in ways that no money can buy. People, even heroes and celebrities, sometimes fail and disappoint. A decent apology can go an enormous distance towards relieving the sting of disappointment that bad behavior creates. It's a powerful lesson for mediators and those who represent people in conflict.
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.