Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What's In a Name?

Do you ask everyone at mediation to say their name out loud as part of your mediator opening? This may seem like a silly question - of course you do. We all ask mediation participants to introduce themselves as this tells us who is in the room and allows participants to meet. However, you might not know that the act of saying your name can also help your participants work better together.

I heard Atul Gawande, general surgeon at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and author of "The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right" on NPR recently and he described creating a checklist for the operating room. Among other items, each person in the room states their name. This simple act helps create a connection, a group that can more effectively handle complex tasks.

Just as mediation can be a complex task make sure you hear those names at your next mediation.