The first day of Spring and Mistakes about fact
Being wrong can mean very different things for a mediator than it means for an arbitrator. If I get a fact wrong during a mediation (and of course it has happened), I can be corrected and I can move on. I can not immediately remember a situation where getting a fact wrong in a mediation has ultimately had any impact on the outcome of the mediation. It has certainly caused a problem here or there but as I accept that I can make a mistake - when it is pointed out I will accept it and move on to fix any problem that may have been created by my mistaken knowledge. Once doing so, I can work to get the process back on track toward resolution.
When I work as an arbitrator, being mistaken about a fact can have much more serious consequences. If I can determine my mistake before I write the decision, I can be corrected. That is part of the reason that I like to "where and when possible" engage the parties in what I am thinking as the case proceeds. I think it helps them to know what I am thinking but it also has a secondary role of making sure in my analysis that I am either not missing something or proceeding on the basis of a mistaken fact. If I do not find out about my mistake until after the decision is written and sent out - there is nothing I can do about it at all at that point.
I was wrong about which day was the start of Spring! When I found out - I acknowledged it. I am going to be really careful before I make any pronouncements to my children about the commencement of Summer.