L. Therese White is a mediator specializing in diversity-related employment disputes and conflict resolution training. She is an American Arbitration Association panelist in Los Angeles. She may be reached at email@example.com.
Bill White is an Associate Professor of Marketing at California State University, Los Angeles. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More often than not, disputants are angry and emotional. Unfortunately, their lawyers and advocates are not always equipped to handle such raw emotions. This is when the use of a mediator may be necessary before the party and its attorney or advocate can continue dealing with their opponent. In this article, Therese White and Bill White show some examples of how mediation effectively addresses emotional issues, provides reality checks, and generally paves the way for the resolution of disputes.
Anger. Sadness. Fear. Disgust. Shame. As you well know, disputes are often full of powerful, negative emotions on both sides. Sadly, these emotions can overwhelm good judgment and damage attorney/client relations, thereby reducing the possibility of a timely and successful out-of-court resolution. Sometimes, they even force an otherwise risky and unnecessary trial.
This article is about helping attorneys and other professional conflict managers reestablish order after the client’s emotional brain has overpowered his thinking brain. It’s also about the effective use of mediators to accomplish this task.