In 1913, a commercial dispute took place in New Zealand between E W Hodgson and his neighbour about the boundary line between their properties in a shared building. The parties became so irate with each other that Hodgson hired a builder to cut off the section of the building in dispute and shifted his part of the building four feet to his side. From then on, the Wakefield (NZ) Temperance Hall had a gap between the two businesses which existed for many years.
Dispute management techniques have improved markedly since the early 1900’s. However, this example serves to remind us what can happen if parties in dispute merely allow emotion to drive their decision making. Choosing an impartial, experienced, qualified and accredited mediator or conflict coach can mean a world of difference in the outcome when it comes to the dispute resolution process.
Johnson Saddler, Edward Street, [no date]. Nelson Provincial Museum, N Baigent