Friday, July 15, 2016

What is Mediation

One in a series. To read others click here.

Thank you very much to those who publicly "liked" and/or commented on my previous post. Your support encourages me to keep going. I look forward to more conversation, give & take on this.

I've been contemplating where to start the conversation. In my previous post, I proposed that the skills used by a mediator or learned by the parties in a mediation are useful in our everyday interactions. So maybe the best place to start is with an understanding of what mediation is.

Mediation is a type of negotiation. In a way we've all been dong it all our lives. If you are a parent, child, sibling, aunt, uncle, husband, wife, employer, employee - if you are a person who interacts with others in more than a casual acquaintance kind of way - I can all but guarantee you have been involved in mediation of some sort at least once in your lifetime.

Often when I bring up mediation as a resolution alternative for disputing parties one or the other will say things like:

"Look, I know I'm right. I do not want to compromise" or
"The other party is stubborn. There is no way they will compromise"

The thing is mediation is not necessarily compromise. Many situations result in compromise because through the process the parties come to see each other as fellow human beings. By separating people from problems we tend to be more inclined to want to compromise. By the same process - separating people from problems - many mediations result in the parties each keeping what the brought to the table because they realize that allowing that doesn't take away from who they are.

Mediation is magic. I've seen people start out barely speaking to each other, leave side by side smiling!

Keep smiling and keep moving
-Paula

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