4 weeks of mediation advocacy.
It was on 04 May 2019 I landed in Bengaluru, India – with two motives. One, to return to my home country. Two, to start my full-time private mediation practice. A decision to travel from a country which had no single day of ‘no-mediation task’ to a country which has no single day of ‘full-mediation task’, yet.
Week 1. The initial week was easy and difficult. My friends, family and extended family phone called me to welcome me back to India. And here it was – the easy target, my first people. I started explaining about the What, Why and How about the Mediation to this set of audience. It was easy as they would listen. It was difficult as I wasn’t sure if my explanations were really heard, understood or anything. My target was to speak to at least 5 people in a day to spread a word of mediation services.
Week 2. The radius of this circle – set of friends and extended family was gradually increasing. A few times, I met friends of friends & friends of family – first-time meetings. This giving rise to the need for a contact mode through which they could contact me back: Name Card, Website, Social Media… This week was interesting as I got my first client. already, yes. He was not looking for mediation. He wanted to talk to a lawyer, BUT he wanted the lawyer to guide him with a way to get out of his problem without going to the court. Let me feel good by calling this session with him as pre-mediation counselling. At the end of 4.5 hours, he said: “Professional help is a must. Every lawyer should really guide the person with a way to get out of the problem, even be it that in the end litigation is the only option. Thank you for guiding me about my options.” Motivating? Yes. People like/ want/ ask for Options. Customized Options. To choose from.
Week 3. This week was special. I was eager to attend the Young Mediators get-together arranged with the assistance of Young Mediators’ Initiative. I met 6 professionals: a Civil Engineer/Life Coach, Lawyer/ Arbitrator, Psychotherapist, Management Expert, Practicing Company Secretary, Private Mediator, a representative from @BIMACC Bangalore International Mediation, Arbitration and Conciliation Centre and youngest of all – recent LLB Graduate. All with great ideas to promote, educate & aware audience about Mediation, also proving the quote – Anyone Can Mediate! We now have a local group. Yes, it takes a gathering of the whole village to bring in a new wave of change.
Week 4. Wow. How lucky can I be to have a conversation with the Senior Lawyer (Thiru Sir) who was in the first set of selected persons in India to be trained in the structured mediation process (selected by the Judiciary). He witnessed and was involved in the first entry of structured mediation in India, the setting up of mediation centres at several High Courts in India. The around 30 minutes talk was enlightening. My most loved sentence from this conversation was – his simple way of defining mediation – by asking me the difference between War & Battle. Have you ever thought of the words “winning the war & losing the battle”? It was another good awakening to my awakened mind. To be able to talk, learn, engage in conversation – with such a gem person – was a win-win for my dream of setting up mediation practice.
These 4 weeks – all together – brought me closer to local fellow private mediators, lawyers supporting mediation, individual professionals like Doctors/ Life Coaches/ Social Workers/ Teachers/ (also parents who happen to use mediation skills every second), mediation institutions encouraging institutionalized mediation, young mediators from diverse fields investing efforts to bring concept of mediation into their respective work fields, people looking for lawyers but not legal notices, businessmen looking for alternatives to litigation.. so many more people!
Today. I don’t know if I HAVE the Business, but I can definitely vouch that I am IN the Business! Much difference? No? Yes? leaving it to your personal perception(s).
From today on, more positively looking forward to this less travelled path – of being a young no-grey haired full-time mediator. All young mediators and conflict resolving professionals out there – wear your suits, get out, talk to people, make yourself available. Think. Ask. Believe. and You will Receive.