Whatever your thoughts on Brxxxx there are some important learning points that we can all use to be more successful in the future.
As a trained mediator and facilitator, the whole scenario playing out in front of our eyes is the best lesson to underline the importance of communication in time of “dispute”.
The various factions in the whole sorry tale (especially on “our” side) are forming themselves into tribes and trying to out-smart one another whether using media, legislation or parliamentary procedure. If only a mediator was overseeing all of this! A skilled listener and communicator with confidential access to all parties could have speeded things up many times over.
Classic mediation, a facilitated discussion technique, is the ability to “float ideas” in a secure “without prejudice” environment. All things can be tried to see if there is any movement. Once things are found to get traction then they can be worked on in a spirit of collaboration.
Perhaps this is the key – the EU matters were a “negotiation” not a “mediation” – major and costly differences. The first suggest winners and losers whilst the latter can well be a “joint win”.
As with all mediators and facilitators I do not profess to have an answer. However, I am quite happy to explore the various courses of action with all concerned.
So, what do we learn from all of this?
- Keeping fully open communications is important
- Don’t be afraid to float possible solutions
- Stay optimistic and actively want to come to a conclusion that is good for all
- Employ an ASM PLUS mediator or facilitator to help
- Mediate/discuss not negotiate
The whole process could be so different than it is at present where it seems that the UK is ripping itself to pieces and the answer to a difference of opinion is shouting and anger. At some point something has got to give us a way forward and, unless we are all very lucky, what this will leave us with is a deep distrust and dislike, as at least one “side” consisting of millions of people will feel that they have lost. The damage done will take years to put right and, in the meantime, will break people and families apart.
If you are in a dispute that threatens to tear people asunder then mediate. There are no absolute guarantees but at least everyone will be able to have their say and reach a mutual conclusion.
ADR Accredited Civil and Commercial Mediator, Certified Accountant and member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (former Chair of the East Anglia Branch), university lecturer and trainer and a member of the CIOT Dispute Resolution and Litigation working group.