I don’t know about you, but I left no calorie untouched this holiday season! And even though I faithfully walked my dog every day (except the days I didn’t 😊), I can’t say I spent any consistent time on my workout schedule either. Which makes it easy to know where to start with my own personal New Year’s resolutions for 2019! I read an article recently, however, that challenged me to go beyond my personal life and consider making resolutions about my work life, too. It was so persuasive I decided to give it a try this year. As a mediator, there are some key behaviors I’d like to sharpen up in 2019. Here are my top five:
1. I will strive to be fully present to the people I am serving.I will take minimal notes while people are talking. I will consciously use my own body language to communicate that I am listening and I care. I will strive to make encouraging eye contact with everyone in the room, not just the party I secretly agree with.
2. I will remember that the two most important things I give my clients are dignity and respect, regardless of what brought them to the mediation table.
3. I will not hurry a client through their story. I will remember that it may very well be that NO ONE has listened to them in a neutral, caring way before today.
4. When writing agreements, I will use plain English and avoid legalese. I will use my clients’ own words as much as I can.
5. I will NEVER push my version of what the future is likely to look like when my clients are making important decisions about their life. Instead, I will always ask THEM to tell me what they see happening in the future if choice a, b, or c is made and try to assure that reality testing is part of their decision-making process.
I heard on TV that most people have broken all their resolutions by January 12 every year. Maybe that is so. But I know I will be a better mediator If I live these five resolutions throughout 2019. Happy New Year to all who do their best to get better at what they do every day.