Monday, August 14, 2006

You Get What You Pay For

Ok, people. I'm a bit perplexed and discouraged. I need some feedback.

Thoroughout my career I've had wonderful folks to guide and help me. Too many to name, in fact. Over the 14 years I've been practicing as a mediator and Ombuds I've always given away time to help others who want to enter the field.

Recently, I was privileged to hear from a Polish mediator who is in the first stages of building a family mediation practice in a country that is very new to mediation as a tool. It felt great to help him get connected to the friends I have who are accomplished and generous ( a big thank you to John Fiske, a vanguard thinker in the field). I feel like I continue to honor the people who contributed to my success.

So here's why I'm vexed.

New mediators who hear about ADR Practice Builder don't want to pay for coaching. I'm told that coaching, resources to move a practice ahead and make connections, is a bit pricey.

Sure, I'm happy to answer a question or two, but at this point I think my expertise and network are valuable and worth a small fee. Am I wrong? I've intentionally kept the fees at ADR Practice Builder low so there's no real entry barrier to people who understand that this is a business. I'm committed to helping people enter the field and be successful.

I get letters describing how helpful and encouraging my work is, so why is it so hard for mediators to actually invest in themselves?

I ask you, what am I missing here? Really, I want your comments.

Try. Fail. Learn. Grow!



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