Here’s the transcript of the part of the video where I introduce myself and explain how I came to be a transformative mediator:
My name is Dan Simon. I’m a transformative mediator. I’ve been doing that for 10 years now (as of 2008, that is. I started in 1998). I started out, went straight to college and law school. I think I got through law school before I really knew what I wanted to do with my life. I started to get clearer about what I wanted to do with my life while I was doing my first job out of law school, which was writing head notes for West Publishing. I decided to go back to school to study psychology, got a masters in counseling psychology. Then, when I finished the masters, I decided to go on my own doing mediation. In the interim before I went back to school studying psychology, I worked at a law firm doing business litigation for one year.
What I Noticed While Practicing Law as a Litigator:
Actually, that’s where I first noticed that the stuff we were doing as lawyers was not really directly addressing the conflict as I saw it. It seemed to me that our job as lawyers was to do whatever we could to mess with the other side in hopes that would motivate them to cave in, give our clients some money.Though our clients often were satisfied with what we did, it’s not that their conflict had ever really been resolved. At some point, it was over and they’d given up with it and they thought we had done a decent job either getting them some money or helping keep their costs to a minimum. Bottom line is, they were never at a better place with the conflict than when they started. They still thought the other side was full of it, was a liar a cheater, or worse. They may have decided to stop fighting but all that had ended was the fight that we helped them start. It had never really gone back and addressed whatever started the problem in the first place.