You see, my role as a mediator is like chemistry. I am the alkaline solution that neutralises the chemicals and stops the explosion. I assist parties with peace and ending the conflict.
As a mediator, it’s my job to deal with people in a fair, transparent and equal process. I have to have the skills to question, to provide legal advice and any other information. I have to be able to read verbal and non-verbal cues and any power imbalances in the room, to maintain control of the process and rapidly respond to verbal attacks or conflict.
I need to have some framework for understanding conflict and I need to have the skills and interventions necessary to deal with it as it unfolds. I must actively listen to the parties – for hours if necessary – and be able to reframe and neutralize.
I need to be able to be creative and help explore options, to be present and mindful and watch explosive emotions. I have to balance between the process and focusing on achieving the task at hand.
It’s hard work but it’s fulfilling and absolutely wonderful when the parties reach resolution.
Sort of like a G20 summit really!