Unless we talk of international commerce, the two respective sectors in which you and I each work appear to be very separate arenas that lack any commonality. But, if we permit, a common bond indeed yearns to be acknowledged and cultivated: You and I have willingly accepted the honorable mantle as stewards of integrity, competency, and credibility of the mediation process and the profession itself. Mediation - a process which is neither pure nor scientific; a process complete with bastardizations such as mandatory mediation provisions as well as creative variations including partnering and med-arb models; a process which we regard as both mystical and sophisticated, but which is barely embryonic when compared to the development of future theories, processes and applications not yet even imagined. Despite the commonality that we are at least professional colleagues, there are differences in our scenarios, approaches and practices. The distinctions which I shall offer are neither meant to separate us nor to regard one sector as more complex or more difficult, sophisticated, important, or more elevated above the other. By attempting to construct a fuller picture, however incomplete or inaccurate, it may be that knowledge and acknowledgement will evolve - and that our profession as a whole will benefit, and even more so via the crossfertilization of each sector's own distinct artistry.
William F. Lincoln,
First the Context, Later the Challenge: Commercial Mediators Interface with the Volatile International Sector,
4 Pepp. Disp. Resol. L.J.
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