This past weekend I was emersed in the exploration of “Knowing thy Self”. 
Our very well respected collaborative colleague, Susan Gamache, arrived in NYC at Eisner Amper for a daylong adventure in the examination of how you respond to conflict.  It was outstanding.  Everyone who attended walked away saying, “yeah that’s me and wow how right the process was.”
As a collaborative attorney and mediator in the ‘people in conflict over an animal(s) venue’ knowing myself and my triggers are crucial. Answering the questions on the evaluative test was daunting.  It was difficult to decide if you would be the person in the mediation room or just you as you are.  I decided to answer the questions as I stand. I think we bring this person to our discussions even if we work at keeping our bias’ in check.
When I finished and read the description of who I was, it floored me. Exactly was the word that came to mind.  I had done the Meyer/Briggs test as I ended the New Directions Program and that felt on point.  This Squib test was even more so.  As I looked around the packed conference room at Eisner Amper, it seemed everyone was having the same reaction I was having.  Universally, each of us agreed this test was spot on.
We then got into our respective groups to answer a couple of questions and we all were in agreement both in the process and the answers.  When we spoke of our answers to the larger group it was amazing how each personality type answered the questions in a way that projected their personality. 
Toward the end we were asked to plan an exercise that included putting an event together.  Again, we broke into our like personality groups and planned our event.  As we planned the event a much clearer picture emerged.  We were all acting in our personality role.  We were working well together, acquiescing on unimportant things sticking to our guns on important aspects.  We all started to laugh when we realized the exercise was not about planning the event. What was so important about the exercise was to see our like personalities in action.  It was illuminating in a way we would never have experienced had we not taken the test, been made aware of how we think and react, and watched our similar counterparts work within this perimeter!
“Knowing thy Self” is key to becoming an effective collaborative professional or mediator.  Unless you know who you bring in the room you may cause unwanted influence on the process.  I for one was so thankful I took the time to attend Fridays Lecture and Saturdays luncheon.  I had originally planned to attend the ABA ADR Conference.  I attended for one day and learned so very much.  However, learning on a grand scale, while wonderful for networking and information gathering (and overload) it cannot compare to learning on an individual scale which provides insight into who you are and how you can bring a better you to the conflict.
Thanks go to Dr. Susan Gamache for a wonderful event in which time flew.  It is difficult to enjoy taking tests that reveal your personality traits. Bravery was on tap for all, including Susan. I look forward to continuing to acknowledge my personality traits and work toward using them in a way that will fulfill my needs as a mediator/collaborative professional and the needs of my clients.

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