Mediation Insights

Schau's Mediation Musings

  • The OODA Loop and Mediation

    I just wrote an article about the military strategy known as “OODA Loop”. U.S. Air Force Colonel John Boyd first recognized that if military strategists would “Observe, Orient, Decide and then Act”, most of the time the more agile side would prevail over the one with the most raw power. In other words, taking the […]

  • Too Many Jars of Jam in Litigation

    My neighbors have an on-going lawsuit against the HOA of their recently deceased parents’ condominium. Apparently, before they could sell the property, the HOA demanded they make certain repairs to bring the unit up to the standards of the CC&R’s. In the meanwhile, they were stuck in what I see as “decision fatigue” where their […]

  • How Freedom Looks

    Last night I attended a most remarkable party at the home of the parents of our soon-to-be daughter-in-law. Their clan is Persian. Our clan is American, although with plenty of ethnic mix and one European boyfriend. I was struck by the dancing, the mixing and mingling of cultures and the fact that functionally all of […]

  • Setting an Intention in mediation

    I had the great pleasure and privilege of studying “Mindfulness in Mediation” with Professor Leonard Riskin and Rachel Wohl last week. One of the techniques that I have newly adopted is to set an intention to my day at the conclusion of my morning meditation practice. This week, I’ve had a far-ranging set of hearings, […]

  • Let it Simmer: The Value of Pausing in Mediation

    Michael Jackson, in the midst of one of his finest moments in concert, famously instructed his musicians to just “let it simmer”. In the past few weeks, I have mediated several cases in which the parties were so frenzied with their positions that I deemed it necessary to do the same. In each, I concluded […]

  • Lessons Learned from a Long-Term Marriage for Mediators

    This weekend we will be celebrating our 37th wedding anniversary. I have now crossed the line where people ask me incredulously: “to the same husband?”. So I thought I’d share a few lessons that a long-term marriage can inform for mediators: 1. Life is long, hopefully. There are peaks and valleys, highs and lows. Learn […]

  • The Cure for Decision Fatigue

    There was such an interesting article in the weekend Wall Street Journal by Jim Sollisch on June 11, 2016. The creative director of an advertising agency, Sollisch noted that we are all plagued by having to make too many decisions. From the moment we decide whether to make coffee before or after morning meditation to […]

  • Lessons from The Greatest Prize Fighter

    We lost not only the world’s greatest prize fighter, Mohammed Ali, but a wise philosopher as well this week. Ali once said, “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” This week, I have spent some well appreciated social time with friends whom I have cherished […]

  • A Plea for Civility in Political Discourse

    The primary Presidential elections take place this week in California and I was recently invited to fill out a survey for one of the candidate’s campaign about what issues of our time are most important to me. Unfortunately, when I looked at them: immigration reform, environmental concerns, the economy, etc., I couldn’t find one that […]

  • The Aesthetics of a Successful Mediation

    We have just finished re-painting our home now that our youngest child is getting married and our oldest has a child of her own. This got me thinking about the aesthetics of mediation. In our offices, we look less like a courtroom or corporate meeting space and more like a series of living spaces set […]