Richard B. Lord, a shareholder with Upchurch Watson White & Max, is a fellow of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators and is a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. To schedule a mediation with Richard, please visit our online scheduling page or call his case manager, Cathy McCleary, at 800-863-1462.
UWWM Mediator Richard B. Lord
When you participate in a mediation as a party, advocate or neutral, you leave a trail. The trail an attorney or party creates within a particular mediation can be used to determine your goal or preferred path to reach that goal. Of course, signs can be interpreted correctly or incorrectly, and goals can change as progress is made or remains elusive.
The trail I have in mind, though, is the one you extend each time you mediate, that incorporates your steps and methods within each mediation of which you are a part. Impressions of your approach and effectiveness are linked, from mediation to mediation. Over time, as you encounter the same participants, it is hard for them to forget what happened the last time you mediated. And each opportunity to mediate affords you an opportunity to improve or weaken how you are viewed by the participants in your mediation. Beyond just the results we achieve in the conference room (or courtroom), our “body of work” evolves.
You cannot help it if someone misreads or misunderstands you. But you should be mindful of the reality that the other side of your case is getting an impression of you. Think about how you want to be perceived, both today and in the mediations you will be a part of down the road so you don’t let your reputation just happen. I encourage you to recognize that life is about relationships, whether short-term or long-term. And how others relate to you is impacted by what you do, how you are perceived and the memories you generate for those with whom you interact.