[Guest Blogger] Sheila Sproule: How I Became Inspired

What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”― Jane Goodall
The Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT) guest blogger this week is Sheila M. Sproule.
A graduate of Fordham University School of Law, Sheila serves in multiple capacities in the pursuit of peace in New York State.
Most prominently, she is the current President of the Association for Conflict Resolution-Greater New York chapter (http://www.acrgny.org/). As the president, she works to outreach and advocate for the interests of professional mediators, academics involved in the field and fellow legal practitioners of ADR in the greater New York area. From the ACR-GNY website:
“The Association for Conflict Resolution Greater New York Chapter, Inc. (ACR-GNY) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting and strengthening alternative dispute and conflict resolution, fostering the use of dialogue and contributing to professional development of the ADR field.”
In her professional life, Sheila works in the NYS Office of ADR and Court Improvement Programs as a Management Analyst. She is a tireless advocate of ADR processes and the ADR field overall and approaches her work with excitement, energy and an enthusiasm that is infectious and inspiring.
We here at Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT) are proud to feature her writing here and heartily recommend joining ACR-GNY if you are a professional in the field of mediation anywhere in the Greater New York area.
I became inspired to mediate in law school when I joined a mediation clinic out of curiosity.
YinYang and ACR-GNY Logo
It was a new concept to me — the idea that people could go to a third party neutral to assist them in resolving disputes — which is exactly the role I played when a group of us went in to small claims court each week to mediate cases.
It was eye-opening to realize that people were often motivated to sue each other because they wanted a chance to confront the person they felt wronged or disrespected by, and often never even spoke with until that day for the first time communicate since the incident. I found that money was not the only factor in every dispute mediated; but, rather everyone wanted to be heard.
As a former Adjunct in the same clinic years later, I learned how important it was for people to have their feelings validated by a neutral third person; someone that could reframe their situation to the other party in ways the other party could hear them.
These are just some of the values embedded in the dispute resolution field. As current President of ACR-GNY, it is my role to ensure that the public is made aware of all the options available to them when they are in conflict — from the early stages to the late stages. 
Dispute resolution practices take many different forms, and our membership embodies all the possible options out there — mediation, arbitration, coaching, settlement conferencing, and facilitation.
Please visit our website and learn more: www.acrgny.org.
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Mediator/Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
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