I often find myself telling parties what I do NOT do as a mediator in their case.
I am not a judge, jury or attorney to advise them. I am not the decision maker or the advice giver.
After that I can see it on their face, that awkward question… “but then what DO you do.” Well let me tell you about my role as the mediator, and what I DO.
Allow You To Be Heard And Understood
As a mediator I ask questions in order to listen to what you have to say, and to give you a place to say it.
You can tell me a story or give me a bullet list of issues. You can vent your emotions, cry, swear or sing a fancy tune.
Mediation is the place for that, and I will listen to you. There is a line of acceptable behavior, and I will let you know if you are crossing it.
The point is, as a mediator I want you to be heard and understood. I will make sure I understand (by asking you questions) and will find language to relay the information to the other party so they understand as well.
Especially when emotions are running high, there is often a break down in the communication chain, and a mediator is there to provide a patchwork for that break.
Making Difficult Conversations Easier
We have all had that moment where we had to give someone really bad news, or have been in a constant nagging argument, and all we wanted to do was “tap out” of the ring. We wanted to let someone else deliver the news or take the brunt of the other’s wrath because it was exhausting. And that is just part of where a mediator steps into the ring to assist you.
Mediators provide a space where parties can engage in a conversation and negotiation regarding the dispute at hand.
Mediators will actively participate in the discussion, will listen to both sides, and may help brainstorm creative options.
As mediators our only agenda is to help achieve the best possible understanding and communication for both you and the other side as we work towards a final resolution.
Providing Clarity To Get Past The Sticky Issues
Perhaps my favorite part of mediation is that I get to listen, and ask the hard questions, the really hard questions, that you do not always want to hear or answer.
This is the reality check that brings the heart of the case into focus, and gets the parties back on track.
I do not ask these questions in order to take sides. I ask hard questions of both sides, but it makes the parties think about the possible outcomes and interests. This allows us to uncover your best possible alternatives, and the worst case scenarios.
Reaching A Resolution
As a mediator I am a neutral third party with an open mind, working towards conflict resolution.
The sooner you reach a resolution, the more time and money you will save while eliminating the stress of litigation.
Resolution requires communication, understanding, and creative thinking, all of which can be drastically improved with the assistance of a mediator.