The virtual Fireside Chat with SMP office-bearers, which took place via Zoom on the evening of 22 June 2021, was an informal dialogue session where SMP members had the opportunity to learn a bit more about their office-bearers and to hear their thoughts on some hot topic mediation issues.
The session began with a very brief self-introduction by SMP office-bearers, namely:
- Lim Tat, Chairperson
- Colin Millward, Secretary
- Michael Lam, Treasurer
- See Chern Yang, Vice-Chair
- Loong Seng Onn, Vice-Chair
- Audrey Phua, Vice Secretary
- Chan Wei Ling, Vice Treasurer
This was followed by a panel discussion on mediation issues, where the SMP office-bearers gave their thoughts on mediation questions posed by the moderator. The discussion was wide-ranging, starting with relationship questions such as strategies for building rapport and earning the trust and cooperation of the disputants’ lawyers. The panel also discussed the fundamental issue of how to uncover parties’ interests when parties themselves are sometimes unclear about their own interests or reluctant to share such interests. Another interesting challenge that was discussed were the possible ways in which a mediator could help parties to move past an impasse towards resolution. The discussion was lively with the panel members sharing viewpoints and experiences, and the audience also contributing their thoughts and asking questions. The session ended with the participants expressing their appreciation for the opportunity to interact with fellow mediators in a more informal setting, and to discuss issues that most mediators will face at some point in their careers.
The session was a great way to get to know and network with like-minded people who are passionate about mediation.
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