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CREDIBILITY by “OWNING IT”

CHAPPAQUIDDICK” is a new movie released in United States theatres this past week. The movie is relative to ADR and negotiation processes and the vital element of credibility in those processes.

The basis of the movie is a traffic accident involving Former Senator Edward “Teddy” Kennedy as the driver of a vehicle that left the roadway at a bridge and came to rest submerged, killing his passenger. The balance of the movie was the instigation of Senator Kennedy’s political survival that lasted for decades afterward by publicly taking responsibility and “owning it.”

The factual events depicted in the movie are relative to ADR and Negotiations in their demonstration of the power of credibility. The movie also shows how to maintain credibility regardless of any particular facts. Maintaining credibility requires that individuals own their situation. Owning the situation is simply taking responsibility.

Following the three-part structure: set-up, confrontation and, resolution, CHAPPAQUIDDICK is well written. The acting, costumes, and cinematography are all excellent. The movie avoids many of the salacious aspects of this episode in American history. Those are facts known only to people who are now forever silenced. While the movie presents that episode on what appears to be a well-balanced narrative, it clearly provides a viewpoint of how an individual can maintain credibility even when the facts of a situation push the limits of social tolerance. While these specific facts may have cost Senator Kennedy the Presidency of the United States, he remained a senator for Massachusets until his death decades later maintaining credibility by taking responsibility, by owning it.

Credibility as a party, advocate and, especially as a neutral require taking responsibility and owning it.