It only took about five years of trial work to recognize that the courts truly should be the last resort for people in dispute. Judges and juries (usually) do the best they can under the circumstances, but they rarely get the full story needed to help the parties get what they want and need. Third-party fact-finders decide what likely happened and what the parties supposedly deserve, based on the fact-finders’ personal views in light of the laws they are told to apply. They aren’t prepared to listen for the issues hurting the parties most. They don’t have a process for helping them heal the hurts and take specific, measurable actions in that direction. I saw that in my own case, when I sued a former employer for breach of contract, unpaid earnings, sex discrimination, and sexual harassment.
Yet I also learned the possibilities of mediation. Hoping to sit down and have very candid and healing conversations, I flew in from out of state for the proceedings. My former employer failed to drive across the small town where I once worked, forcing my attorney to push the case to trial, where I won a default judgment I could never collect on. No one really won. I lost my job, friends, and eventually my career in sport. My employer ultimately lost its hockey franchise.
I sought something more in law school because I knew more was possible. I studied Alternative Dispute Resolution in law school and participated in mediation competitions (even placing second in one of them). But it was trial work that was available after graduation and 9/11, so I learned all I could–until I couldn’t accept less for my clients anymore. When I finally disclosed my mediation training and preferred holistic approach to legal services, I was surprised to learn that my clients knew there was something different about my approach, but they hadn’t quite identified it yet. Most of them gave me the green light to look for the most mutually-beneficial and fair result possible in their cases.
Soon after, I was invited to speak at the Southern California Mediation Association conference, where I first presented the Third Ear Conflict Resolution process. More than a decade later, I am still teaching people how to listen with their third ears, or their h-EAR-ts, for the hurts they can heal when disputes arise. I still handle a few litigation matters for existing clients, but we have gotten a lot better at keeping them out of court and building their conflict resolution skills. In the wake of the pandemic, more people are learning the benefits of listening to each other differently. I invite you to join us and see how it can improve your relationships at work, home, and beyond.
Resolving Workplace Conflicts
I work with domestic employers, family-owned businesses, freelancers, funeral homes, minority and women business enterprises (“MWBE”), and other high-risk businesses to resolve workplace conflicts like:
- Employee Discipline
- Employee Turnover
- Fraud and Theft
- Hostile Work Environments
- Managing Diverse Workforces
- Misaligned Values
- Outdated Dress Codes
- Overwhelm and Resignation
- Repeat Hiring Mistakes
- Training Mandates
- Worker Misclassification
- Workers Compensation Penalties
310 East 46th Street, Suite 20G
New York, NY 10017
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- Facebook: @nschicklaw
- LinkedIn: @nschicklaw
- Online school: www.3dEarListeners.com
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