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Steering From The Back Of The Boat

by Jan Frankel Schau
September 2010

From Jan Schau's blog.

Jan Frankel Schau

Today's New York Times Business Section had an interesting interview of Anne Berkowitch, co-founder and Chief Executive of "SelectMinds", a social networking company in Manhattan. She talked about the keys to effective leadership and listed the most important as "being able to listen to people." She analogized to "steering from the back of the boat" as opposed to being the military general in front of the troops and the first one rushing into battle. As many of my readers know, my husband and I are avid sailors, so the metaphor really struck me as to the reason mediation can be so effective. The mediator is trained to do exactly as Berkowitch advocates. We bring together a group of people, get the best of them and get them wanting to work as a unit toward some goal post (settlement/resolution of their conflict). We listen to them, trying to understand what really motivates them (or is driving the conflict) and then get them to push themselves beyond their comfort zones. As I go off to relax on the boat this holiday weekend, I will be so happy to carry the metaphor into my week as the key to successful settlements of dispute. I wish you fair winds and smooth sailing!

Biography


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.



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Website: www.schaumediation.com

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