I recently had the opportunity to interview ADR legend Forrest “Woody” Mosten. Woody has been on the forefront of Mediation and Collaborative Practice and is the founder of Unbundled Legal Services. Woody also happens to be a friend and mentor of mine and my co-author of “Building A Successful Collaborative Family Law Practice” published by the American Bar Association in 2018. You can find the video below.
You can find the Peacemaker Practice Self Survey reproduced below.
PEACEMAKER PRACTICE SELF-SURVEY
Forrest S. Mosten and Kevin Scudder
Peacemaker Professionals are lawyers, mental health professionals, and financial professionals who deliver services to clients in a number of roles: Advisor, Information Provider, Organizer, Legal Counselor, Mediator, Evaluator, and other forms as service-provider.
How do you distinguish yourselves from other Peacemaker Professionals in your community? What differentiates our work from a traditional provider are the values and personal attributes that define who are, and which govern our actions.
Hi, I’m Kevin from Seattle. I am a Peacemaker who works with clients to create their resolution, rather than having one imposed upon them. My aim is to help clients get the information they need to make decisions they need to make in a timely, clear, manner and to provide a service that exceeds their expectations in all areas.
This self-survey is designed to be a working template for you, as a Peacemaker Professional, to reflect upon the core definition of your practice. It is the foundation for the development of your Practice Signature, mission statement, business plan, or Peacemaking work.
This Self-Survey is designed to help you understand and develop your Practice Signature in a step-by-step approach. There is no need to do the Survey in one setting, but it is recommended that you write out your answers. While it may be time consuming, this work will pay dividends over the years.
Once completed, share your answers with other colleagues, your practice and professional support groups, and even with your family members. By being asked questions and taking the opportunity to think about and express your answers, your Practice Signature will become more deeply ingrained and authentic.
I. TAKING PERSONAL STOCK:
What values guide your personal life and who do you thank for instilling those values?
- What are your core personal values?
- Looking at your list of core personal values, if you had the chance to express gratitude to someone for each value you listed, who would that be, and why?
- List a few of the events in your life that have shaped your core
KNOW AND HONOR YOUR CORE LIFE VALUES:
In his 2019 article, Four Powerful Habis of the Most Mentally Strong and Successful People https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/lifestylecareer/4-powerful-habits-of-the-most-mentally-strong-successful-people/ar-AAGQcXw, Scott Mautz writes the following
it’s easy, especially in times of change, to lose sight of your core, your most closely held values. Remembering your values in times of adversity is a source of strength, resolve, and perspective, and keeps you grounded.
Values are those little things we do each day that exemplify who we are. They’re the daily little impressions that leave a huge permanent impression. If I asked you to write down your most closely held, non-negotiable values, could you? My survey work conducted in classes I teach at Indiana University indicates that only 30 percent of people can write down their non-negotiable values within any reasonable time frame.
If you fall into the 70 percent, take some time for introspection to write your values down and keep them in front of you. If you can do that, it makes you much more likely to live each day in support of your values versus in spite of them. It’s greatly helpful in times adversity, as it’s during such times that our true character shows, aided by our values. Our values are the arm around our character that holds it steady and guides it down the right path.
- Think about how your values have changed over time. What values were once important, but now have less
Examples of Values:
Authenticity; Achievement; Adventure; Authority; Autonomy; Balance; Beauty; Boldness; Compassion; Challenge; Citizenship; Community; Competency; Contribution; Creativity; Curiosity; Determination; Education; Equality; Fairness; Faith; Fame; Friendships; Fun; Growth; Happiness; Honesty; Humor; Informed; Influence; Inner Harmony; Justice; Kindness; Knowledge; Leadership; Learning; Love; Loyalty; Meaningful Work; Openness; Optimism; Peace; Pleasure; Poise; Popularity; Recognition; Religion; Reputation; Respect; Responsibility; Security; Self-Respect; Service; Spirituality; Stability; Success; Status; Trustworthiness; Wealth; Wisdom.
[Borrowed in part from http://jamesclear.com/core-values]
II. TAKING PROFESSIONAL STOCK:
What values guide your professional life?
- Provide an abbreviated list of your different jobs, starting with your first job and ending with your current
- For each of your jobs write down what was important for you at the time. Why were you in the job you were in?
- Write down the things about your job that you
- Write down the things about your job that you like (what makes you wake up in the morning and want to go to work in the morning and stay all day).
- What do you want to change about your practice and why do you want to make that
- Describe your ideal work
- What are your key personal attributes and how are they reflected in your Peacemaker work? Or not reflected in your Peacemaker work?
Examples of personal attributes:
accommodating accurate adaptable adventurous ambitious analytical appreciate diversity appreciate feedback approachable articulate assertive authentic autonomous calm under pressure candid cautious cheerful collaborative compassionate committed to integrity competitive confident congenial conscientious conservative considerate consistent cooperative
cost-conscious creative curious decisive dedicated dependable detail-oriented determined diplomatic disciplined discreet driven dynamic eager efficient empathetic energetic enjoy challenges enthusiastic entrepreneurial ethical fair flexible friendly generous goal-oriented
hard-working helpful honest imaginative inclusive independent industrious influential innovative intelligent intuitive inquisitive level-headed loyal
mature methodical observant open-minded optimistic organized outgoing passionate patient perceptive persistent personable persuasive pleasant poised polite possess a good sense of humor possess common sense practical precise process-oriented productive professional punctual a quick learner rational reliable resourceful realistic resilient respectful results-oriented responsible responsive seek challenges self-aware self-motivated self-sufficient self-reliant sincere spontaneous tactful take direction well take initiative team-oriented tenacious thoughtful thorough tolerant trustworthy values-oriented versatile visionary willing to take risks
[Borrowed from Univ. of South Carolina: http://sc.edu/career/Pdf/identifypersonalqualities.pdf]
III. ALIGNING YOUR PRACTICE WITH YOUR CORE VALUES
- What Peacemaker services do you offer?
- What other non-adversarial services do you offer?
- What is the target market for your services?
- Who are your referral services and how do they know about your Practice Signature?
- How do you communicate the availability and nature of your services to your target market?
- How do your services provide improvement or differentiation from other family professionals?
- What is our involvement with organized professional associations in the field?
- What is your ongoing involvement with other family professionals? How is such involvement “cost-effective”?
- To which professional journal subscriptions and software in the Peacemaker field do you subscribe?
- What is the extent of your volunteer Peacemaker client work in your community?
- What is the extent of your organizational work in the Peacemaker field?
- How do you help other Peacemaker professionals develop their professional craft/skills or profitability of their practices?
IV. A Tool For “Seeing” Your New Practice Signature
The Peacemaking Abacus
In his book, Mediation Career Guide: A Strategic Approach to Building a Successful Practice, Forrest “Woody” Mosten encourages the practitioner to explore the available “inventory of formats and interventions” in creating a Mediation Signature. [Mediation Career Guide, Mosten, F., 85].
A different set of formats and interventions exist for the Peacemaker. Some possibilities are set forth below. In looking at the different spectrums, where do you fall? Put an “X” on the line in a position that best describes you. If you do not see a spectrum that better describes you and your core values and attributes, make sure to add it to your own list.
Full Litigation <———————————————->No Litigation
Full Service <———————————————-> Unbundled Services
Full Team Interdisciplinary <—————————————–> Attorney Only
Experienced Practitioners Only <———————————————-> New Practitioners
Attorney / Professional Focus <———————————————> Client Focused
Stay True to Process <——————————————> Flexibility Based On Situation
Legal Result <—————————————-> Client Result
Stick to the Path <—————————————-> Off the Beaten Path
Risk Averse <————————————-> Risk Tolerant / Seeking
Conflict Adverse <—————————————> Embrace Conflict
Control <————————————————–> Delegate
Grounded <———————————————–> Spiritual
Holistic Approach <——————————————–> Legal Remedies
Transformational <——————————————> Transactional
Wealthy Clients <————————————–> Low Asset / Income Clients
Two-Hour Meetings or Less <——————————————-> Longer Meetings
Sole Practitioner <————————————————> Community
* Based on The Mediation Abacus, Wade, J.H. “Mediation-The Terminological Debate.” Australian Peacemaker Journal, 1994, 5, 204; acknowledgment also to Adam Cordover.
WELCOME TO YOUR NEW
PEACEMAKER PRACTICE SIGNATURE!!!
 This practice building tool is a work in progress. Originally developed by Woody in his books Mediation Career Guide (2001) and Collaborative Divorce Handbook (2009, it was updated and improved by Kevin in 2016 and then further developed by him in his Chapter, Redefining Your Practice Signature and Creating a Profitable Peacemaking Practice in Mosten and Cordover, Building a Successful Collaborative Practice (2018). Kevin and Woody encourage mediators and collaborative professionals to update and improve this tool, use it to build their practices and to teach and mentor other peacemakers.
Adam B. Cordover is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator and leading Collaborative Family Law Professional. Adam is a member of the Board of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals.