(originally posted at Absolution Mediation)

I am currently reading “A is for Asshole: The ABC’s of Conflict Resolution” (Review coming soon) by Victoria Pynchon and one of the chapters is called “J is for Judge.” All of a sudden it hit me. We are hard-wired for litigation. We are hard-wired to want to go in front of a judge so that (s)he can pass down a ruling on our situation.



Think back to your childhood and remember a time where you got in a disagreement with your sibling. What did you do? Sure, maybe you tried to hash things out, but I’ll bet (if you’re like me) someone ended up getting hurt in the process. Then what did you do? Run to one of your parents!

Think about a time where you were in school. What did you do if you had a problem with one of your classmates? You probably talked to a teacher didn’t you. I think you see where I’m going with this. When we are growing up and something doesn’t go our way, or we get hurt (emotionally or physically) we run to someone else to fix the problem. We run to someone that gives us a solution to our problem.
What do you do now when you have trouble with your employer? Trouble with your spouse? Trouble with your family? Trouble with the service that you are receiving as a customer? What are some of the first thoughts that go through your head. I’m guessing (if you’re still like me) that you are thinking of the court process, litigation, I’m going to get a lawyer and sue the pants off of you, the judge will certainly rule in my favour.

But you’re no longer a child, you’ve grown up, you can make your own decisions, your own resolutions. You are wise, and know what you are looking for out of a situation, right?

That’s one reason why I do mediation. It gives you the opportunity to make your own resolutions. You know the situation the best and you know what you want out of the situation.

So what do you want to do? Have someone that doesn’t know you or your situation make the decision for you? Or do you want to put your mind to work and go through a conflict resolution process? The choice is yours.

Views: 64

Comment by Colm Brannigan on February 7, 2011 at 6:41pm

Great book, I have just finished reading it.  

 

I don't believe we are "hard-wired" for litigation.  Flight or fight maybe, but as a species we would not have survived without cooperation.

 

In some cases litigation makes sense but in most disputes people want to work it out.  It is one of the aspects of a mediation practice I find very frustrating as this only becomes obvious when we get people to the table and we have not done a good job of getting them there!

Comment by Jason Dykstra on February 8, 2011 at 7:56am
There are definitely times where mediation is not appropriate for people, but yes, I agree that many people usually want to work things out.  Thanks for the comment Colm!

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