I had the opportunity this fall to sit on a committee for the Colorado Bar Association at the behest of the Colorado Legislature to review the feasibility of the Uniform International Commercial Arbitration Act for adoption here. It was a great experience and I got to learn a lot about the area from a bunch of people who had very differing opinions about the feasibility of the idea. It was great fun.
As can be expected when dealing with a group of highly verbal and passionate people, the discussions were not always quiet. At our penultimate meeting, just a we were discussing what our recommendation would be, it became a little contentious and membership of the committee began to revert to their positions. At that time, my mediator-self spoke up and began to summarize the shared interests and goals of the group, after which we were able to reach consensus on the recommendation and even start to discuss the “what next.” I had to laugh because it was just such an automatic response to what was going on in the room on my part – I didn’t even think I was “mediating” until the committee chair pointed it out to me by saying “October is Conflict Resolution Month in Colorado.”
Now, I hadn’t said anything about it being Conflict Resolution Month in the meeting so I was a little startled when he said that. It turned out that, on his way home from the previous meeting, the chair had seen one of the window signs and even taken a picture of it to show me.
I guess the moral of this story is, even when and where you might least expect it, those signs really do have a positive effect!