My jobs here are listening well and bringing my experience as a manager, entrepreneur, attorney and teacher to bear on the facts presented in order to reach a fair result.
I’ve served as an arbitrator in commercial cases since my first years practicing law, more than 30 years ago. During this time, I have always tried to balance open-mindedness with decisiveness. It is rarely easy.
I see my first duty as patient attention, that is, listening carefully while the parties tell their respective stories. Equally important is the duty to determine which side gave the most believeable account in light of the governing standards. The jobs of listening before deciding operate in tandem, and require different skills.
An article by a fellow arbitrator nicely captures the challenge that confronts everyone who serves as a neutral:
“When parties come to an arbitrator for a fair decision on agreed-upon issues, the arbitrator must have the confidence and courage to make the tough calls based on the evidence presented and the legal arguments made.”
You struggle to hear everything that’s been said (and left unsaid) before reaching through the facts and the law for the fairest possible result.
About my work with early-stage companies
I also advise early-stage companies on planning and execution.
My engagements have involved work in several areas, including entertainment (play and education concept), health care (refractive eye surgery delivery model) and energy (expansion of liquified natural gas business).
I also write about how work can be improved by using some of the skills that you’d rely upon in launching an early stage business concept. My forthcoming book is called WorkLifeReward: Following Your Values to a Good Life at Work.