Wednesday, May 31

Locols Only

There's a sign saying 'locols only, rest of you's stay out' [sic] scrawled on a water tank as you go down the dirt track to the beach of my childhood, at the end of my folks' farm here on the desolate west coast of New Zealand.

It came to mind yesterday as my piercing interventions got lost in translation in a mediation involving some folks from not around these parts.

Having watched a couple of US/Canadian mediators at work, I realise now they reflected a healthy and sophisticated understanding of local ways.

Perhaps we all do, without knowing just how parochial we are.

They were plugged into the way things are done around their patch... but geeez, some of what they did and said would never, ever, ever fly in my world but soared in theirs.

Does that mean its difficult to make our own distinct style work outside our own home town?

It sure felt like it yesterday because these folks from overseas surely just didn't get me.

They thought my questions were too intrusive and exposed them in public and frankly, 'they were too open'

....too open! what the?!# (Geoff, you gotta be thick skinned if you're gonna have a feedback page !)

Yeah, but they were robust questions, all from within my wonderful question matrix like:

>What price have you paid for that behavior? What did you intend?
>Can you give it up?
>How will you treat them in the future?
>What might your prediction be...?
>How are you going to prove that specifically? OK, lets try that... if you were in the witness box and being cross-examined by Jane here, what are you going to say (in 30 seconds or less)?

...and other questions similar to the ones here.

1 comment:

Kristina Haymes said...

Hi Geoff! Great blog. Thanks for sharing your question matrix, love that.
I think your questions are dead on and what all good mediators explore with parties. I am not sure how much of it is parochial or just human resistance to question core assumptions and beliefs about their "reality" (the stories we all tell ourselves about the events that happen in our lives).

Keep up the good work. Mediators are not supposed to win popularity contests -- not everyone is going to love you. Unfortunately not everyone is going to "get you" either(but keep trying. That's OK the world still needs you to keep asking tough questions!

a fellow blogger from across the sea,