Thank you for visiting my website. I hope that you are considering using my services and that, as a result, we will get a chance to speak soon.
I will ask you to share with me the challenges of a dispute that needs resolution or perhaps to open up about your goals for which you wish to improve your communication skills.
These acts require trust and rapport, both of which I would like to earn. So, let me take the first step sharing with you my story. The goals, the drivers and the experiences which have shaped me and make me the right person to guide you.
Authenticity – in work and life – is an overarching value of mine. On an equal footing of importance is curiosity. I am naturally interested in finding out all the why’s, what’s and how’s of things (which is very useful in the mediator’s profession). And then, when the conclusion is that it’s not as it should or could be, I analyse what can be done about it, plan and act. Because it’s essential to actively pursue, create and be the change we want.
“It’s so millennial”, you might think. Well. I am, it is. I’m a true representative of my generation.
The purpose, I believe, is to make ourselves and our surroundings – if not the world – better. With collaborative efforts, empathy, integrity and flexibility in accommodating the needs of others; cherishing diversity.
What motivates me in this pursuit is a quest for knowledge (both book-smart and street-smart) combined with a passion to share its benefits. The end goal is for each and all of us to be better and better off. I am aware that not everyone has equal opportunities in life and so it’s imperative to help each other out. My motto: be kind and lift when you climb.
MY MEDIATION STORY
Let me introduce myself.
“I’m Karolina Jackowicz. Mediator accredited by CEDR, Fellow of CIArb. The world champion of commercial mediation.”
The 2013 Commercial Mediation Competition of the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris (ICC) is actually how my mediation journey had started. Although our team’s win is an accomplishment of the student days’ glory, it’s one of the most transformative in my professional life. Mainly, it instilled in me a mindset of collaborative exploration and a culture of dialogue. It has also sparked an eventful and unique professional trajectory, directing my legal career path towards alternative dispute resolution. I have trained as a mediator – in 2015 achieving the globally renown mediator accreditation from the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution in London (CEDR) and in 2019 being admitted as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in London (CIArb).
And yet… Here’s another, equally true description:
“I’m Karolina Jackowicz. An entrepreneur once tangled in an acrimonious internal dispute and the ensuing co-founder departure.”
It’s the second defining moment in developing my mediator’s toolbox. Road-testing the principles of mediation from the perspective of its user. Practical listening, empathy and value-creation capabilities. All with emotions running high and significant repercussions on the company’s projects and finances. While all’s well that ends well (we had reached a compromise resolving our dispute by negotiations) it’s an invaluable lesson on how to be a better adviser to entrepreneurs and start-ups – now, that I had truly put myself in your shoes.
In between, I’ve worn many professional hats, such as of:
– an academic, teaching and researching international law;
– a legal professional with stints at international organisations and law firms;
– an entrepreneur, trying to create a software tool automating some mundane legal tasks.
These roles allowed me to work in international teams. Most importantly, as an international student-turned Londoner, I’ve immersed in the richness of a cosmopolitan, global hub. While I’m Polish by nationality, by identity and experience I consider myself a citizen of the world and European. The most important aspect, here, is that I’ve learnt cross-cultural communication and respect for diversity in practice.
My professional development has been a road of discovery and exploration, frequently by trial and error.
I’ve built up a track record of turning ideas into reality and so have under my belt a few successes. For example, training the ministerial staff in mediation, establishing an acclaimed ADR course for professionals or roles with prestigious organisations.
Equally, not all of my projects brought the expected results (like the software still far from being functional and outside of the allocated time and budget) or have not – yet – been accomplished (such as my half-written PhD thesis on hiatus). On a few occasions, time and resource constraints forced me to compromise on the quality of the deliverables. Therefore, to avoid such situations in the future and not undermine my core values, I had to make tough choices – such as giving up teaching.
These experiences shaped me – especially the invaluable lessons from what, ultimately, proved to be mistakes or “scope for improvement” situations. I’ve grown accustomed to venturing outside my comfort zones and dealing with unexpected, adjusting on the go. At the same time, my focus on strategic planning and thorough preparation have proven critical to developing as a mediator and ADR consultant. I strive to adapt my natural curiosity, analytical mind and relentless enthusiasm to the requirements of the process, following the ancient wisdom of having two eyes, two ears and only one mouth. Mediation, just like leadership, is more about listening than speaking.
And so, having shared with you my story, I’m now hoping to pass the floor to you and listen.
For details of my academic and professional profile – view my Linkedin and let’s connect.
What is more, we discussed how outdated the procedure of “going to the lawyer” and “a day in court” appeared to them – accustomed to operating almost exclusively online. Some of the attendees, who contacted me after the workshop, reported they could not find any appropriate service providers. That’s not to mention specific individuals who would understand the realities of being an entrepreneur, mainly in the tech and creative fields.
And so, the idea of setting up such a dedicated service, based on my professional profile and experience matching those needs, was born. Following further research and validations, KJADR has been established. I’m ready to help you and – as always – to iterate, responding to the customer feedback.
One winter evening of 2016, while presenting ADR to the Google Campus start-up community, I asked a question that ultimately led to the creation of this boutique practice, focused on the needs of entrepreneurs, start-ups and SME’s.
The question: “Please, raise your hand if your company or you have a conflict or a dispute in need of resolution”.
Virtually all (around fifty) hands shot up.
Next question: “Are you actively resolving these issues?”.
A meagre three hands stayed up in the air.
This was striking. In follow-up conversations with the attendees, it turned out all of them had run into some sort of disagreements, whether with their co-founders, teams or investors. In all cases it was negatively impacting their businesses: stifling growth, draining their energy and team morale. And yet, most of these entrepreneurs did not know how to begin addressing these issues. They tried by themselves, mostly getting further apart. They sought legal advice, yet this route seemed like opening a floodgate of costs and uncertainty about the outcome and timings. Their businesses, in most cases, could not afford to take these risks nor to pay for the court proceedings. And yet, not in a single story, the entrepreneur was offered or even told about mediation. When presented with what mediation is, the vast majority concluded it seemed much more fitting to their situation (for example, due to being relatively fast and affordable; the involvement of lawyers was not mandatory) and habits (as entrepreneurs they appreciated being in control and playing an active role, only with some specialist guidance).
KJADR’S MISSION AND VISION
My practice embodies these values on a business level.
KJADR’s goals are aligned with the needs of entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs. As a solo practice, KJADR also embodies my personal values on a business level and reflects my mediation story.
KJADR’s mission is to empower businesspeople with effective communication for improved satisfaction and growth. I help entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs navigate conflicts and resolve disputes conveniently, efficiently and affordably.
KJADR’s vision is the business environment where conflicts trigger improvement and innovation and disputes are resolved collaboratively. I envision business cultures and strategies driven by effective communicators – on a team and leadership level.
If this story resonates with you and my expertise fits your needs, then let’s talk about how I can help you achieve your goals.