Your brain is an extraordinary organ. But it plays tricks on you. It was designed to protect you from wild animals, natural disasters, and other risks of imminent physical harm or death that you’re not experiencing most of the times that your amygdala, or reptilian brain, is triggered. You can and absolutely must question your brain, especially when you are dealing with human beings. This is not easy, yet training is becoming mandatory in many professions and public spaces. Some people think this is a bad idea, of course. There will always be people with different opinions, which is okay. None of us has everything in life all figured out, even if our brains try to make us think we do.
When I work with clients (or loved ones, for that matter) to reveal those biases hidden from us, I also have to explore my own. No matter how many times I remove one, it seems like another will appear, based on new information and experiences. Like conflict, this is a natural part of living, at least for most humans. This is why I ask you to make The Seven Choices before we start developing any action plans around diversity and inclusion:
- Forgive yourself for having conflicts, including implicit biases.
- Acknowledge yourself for taking any action to resolve any conflict arising out of an implicit bias.
- Forgive the world for having and creating conflicts.
- Free the emotions.
- Clear your mind.
- Assume you know nothing about anything.
- Listen with your third ear, or your h-EAR-t.
Yes, this will often be to meet a licensing or other legal requirement, but I am confident you will also benefit from using the tools in other aspects of your life. While avoiding a lawsuit, penalty, or loss of income, you will build skill in recognizing when your brain is sending you ineffective messages that cause conflict in other areas of your life. This is the cherished win-win-win that mediators talk about.
Would you like to see if mediation can transform your conflict and the way you relate to your life? Schedule a consultation.
Nance L. Schick, Esq. is a New York City attorney and mediator who focuses on keeping people out of court and building their conflict resolution skills, especially in business and employment disputes. Her holistic, integrative approach to conflict resolution draws from her experience as a crime victim, human resources supervisor, minor league sports agent, and United Nations representative. She is a 2001 graduate of the State University of New York Buffalo Law School trained in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation (ICERM). She is also creator of the Third Ear Conflict Resolution process, author of DIY Conflict Resolution: Seven Choices and Five Actions of a Master, and an award-winning entrepreneur, who has been acknowledged by Super Lawyers (ADR, 2018), the New York Economic Development Corporation/B-Labs (Finalist, Best for NYC 2015 & 2016), U.S. Chamber of Commerce (2015 Blue Ribbon Small Business), Enterprising Women Magazine (Honorable Mention, 2014 Woman of the Year awards), and Urban Rebound NY/Count Me In (Finalist, 2013 Pitch Competition).