Sunday, April 27, 2008
The Luxury of Time to Resolve Conflict
This past week I conducted a rare (for me) mediation in an outside office. For the past seven years, I have conducted my hearings in my own offices, or those of ADR Services. In each location, I have access to an office where I can obtain e-mail, voice mail, real mail or more during breaks and before and after the sessions. This one lasted eleven hours, during which I had no access to computer, voice mail or telephone messages. Although all of the participants were drained by the end, it occurred to me what a modern luxury is the gift of a full day "un-wired". Wouldn't we all appreciate having the undivided attention of a professional to spend the day listening to our problems and helping us achieve a satisfactory solution? Wouldn't we love if our spouse or children or parents, our partners or associates would similarly indulge us a full, uninterrupted day to think about how to make us feel better about past issues or relationships? I dare say that even a full day alone--without interruption from PDA's and phones, would go a long way towards helping any of us solve our problems. And so it occurred to me that one of the best features mediation has to offer is the eyes and ears of a professional who dedicates the day to helping the participants to solve their conflict. A full day's commitment to being unwired, unhurried, giving undivided attention to the participants is a wonderful luxury!