My learning experience
Last week, you might recall I mentioned that I was about to do something that I haven’t done for years. Well, I did it. Last Friday I assisted one of the ’10-15′ that I referred to in my last missive. It was excellent. This was done as part of my personal development plan (PDP).
It was a commercial dispute, riddled with layers of complex technicalities. Telephone numbers were discussed as part of the negotiation.
Unfortunately, the case didn’t settle and of course, I can’t share the detail, but there were a number of learning points I noted.
- You can always develop further – Despite mediating hundreds of disputes and training hundreds of people in mediation skills, I picked up some really useful tips and tools
- The mediators skill set remains constant – Even though huge numbers formed a major part of the negotiation, the mediator did what all mediators are trained to do. He encouraged the parties to have a conversation
- Lawyer and non-lawyer mediators can work together – I am often in conversations with non-lawyer mediators who say that it is not possible to build relationships with lawyers and lawyer mediators. I haven’t found this to be the case.
- Be yourself – The mediator mediated by being himself. He wasn’t any different to how I have seen him in numerous other settings. Parties commission him on a regular basis because they know what they are going to get.
- Use humour – in the heat of the battle, the mediator told a light hearted story which made everyone laugh and changed the atmosphere.
There were also a few other learning points that I’ll be adding to my PDP.
Whether you are in the field of mediation or not is irrelevant. Continual learning should be for everyone, including you, whatever level you have reached in your chosen field. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and plan to repeat it once a year.
Whatever your next PDP activity, I wish you great success. Go ahead, invest in yourself.
By the way, in case you missed it, Professor Robert Winston has done it again. Last weekend, the BBC showed a fascinating programme on childhood development and predictions for adulthood. The programme explored the personality types of openness, neuroticism, agreeableness, extroversion and conscientiousness. You can watch it again on BBC i-player. It’s worth viewing.