Many of the people I speak with on the Doing Law Differently Podcast are on a mission to #makelawbetter. They’ve experienced the legal system up close and personal and they want to improve it, whether through improving access to justice, providing alternative pathways to resolve disputes or simply by being providing a better customer or staff experience.
Lisanne Iriks is no different. Lisanne is a conflict resolution specialist and mediator who believes that there’s a lot of unnecessary suffering when it comes to conflict resolution and her mission is to reduce that. She does that through her work as a mediator in family law and workplace mediation and also through her training programs, where she trains people in conflict resolution, negotiation and communication skills.
I chose to focus the interview with Lisanne in two areas. First we get an understanding of the role mediation has to play for clients. Second, we move into a conversation about the skills we need as lawyers to help resolve conflict.
What I really took away from this interview was the recurring theme that I am reminded of all the time: that we need to focus on deeply understanding our clients. We need to truly understand who they are and what their challenges are. Not just the surface level ones, but the ones that keep them awake at night. Only when we do that can we properly start to help them resolve their conflict.
About our guest
Lisanne Iriks is an award-winning mediator who specialises in family mediation and workplace mediation.
Life Medition are mediation specialists in Perth, Western Australia offering Family and WorkPlace Mediation as well as online and face to face conflict resolution training and workshops.
Lisanne Iriks quotes
- “Conflict is great … when change occurs it’s normally conflict that starts it off … conflict requires innovation, communication, problem solving and … when you are able to work through a conflict with someone … the relationship actually improves a lot.”
- “If you’re a lawyer, just pick up the phone and call the other party …”
- “As a lawyer you need to get really good at finding out those underlying issues so you don’t get surprised at mediation because you know about it … The best lawyers I work with in mediation go and ask the other side “what’s really important to you? Tell me about that.””
- “As a lawyer you can create so much value for your client here – people just want to be heard. They want to have a seat at the table.”
- “Just listen to people. Human beings are problem solvers and, lawyers in particular, because that’s what you get hired to do. Sometimes you need to let people just finish without solving any problems. First of all, they feel heard. If you stop them and constantly try to resolve the problem you don’t get the full story.”
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Thank you to Legally Yours
This episode is brought to you by Legally Yours, an online legal marketplace that connects clients to fixed-fee and value based pricing lawyers across Australia. For lawyers, Legally Yours also helps innovative legal professionals connect and grow by providing business support services, education, leads and connections to other lawyers who operate beyond the billable hour. To find your legal tribe, head here. For more information about membership, head here.
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