Leading from the Back of the Room

I’ve taken a few months off from blogging during which I fear I may have become complacent with my own techniques and absorbed in a sense of competence in my mediation efforts. Then today I read about a Business leader who spoke of “leading from the back of the room” and I was struck by the notion that I had risen to the position of leadership where I take a seat which is not rightfully my own. That is an important reminder that I thought I would share. Though mediators may think we know the best way to resolve a particular dispute, leading from the front of the room can be so dangerous. Because at the end of the day, if the parties haven’t come to the terms on their own, by their own volition, it may feel forced even though successful. That result is what we expect from the Court. A judge or jury may superimpose their decisions upon the parties. But mediation is supposed to be different. A reminder to lead from the back of the room–instead of the podium where the Judge sits, was really a great message for me.

                        author

Jan Frankel Schau

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… MORE >

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