I recently had the opportunity to see and hear the Dalai Lama. He spoke for over 1-1/2 hours and was incredible.
Part of his talk was how each of us as individuals possess the seeds of love, compassion, empathy, kindness and forgiveness. These seeds can be developed by practice. Once we have sown said seeds as a human race, the killing of others will be stopped. If we all start now, then in a couple of generations we can reach world peace.
He said that an individual can actually achieve this by first building and practicing these qualities with her/himself, then building it with the family and thereafter, the community. If we practice and develop the seeds, we can also achieve inner peace, happiness and a healthy mind and body.
I have reflected and reviewed my notes on the Dalai Lama’s speech.
I am developing a practice of developing said seeds not only in my personal life, but in my chosen profession as a mediator.
I recently mediated a business dispute where the partners were extremely angry at each other. They had a successful business, but it was starting to implode due to the conflict. They both did not want to be in the same room at mediation.
When I met with “Joe” in our session prior to the mediation, I allowed Joe to vent and rage and acknowledged his frustration and asked how I could help him. Joe said we need to resolve it, but on his terms. I reframed it in a positive way that his goal was to reach resolution and reduce it to a written agreement by the end of the day. Joe said yes.
I then met with “James” in his session prior to the mediation. James was angry and felt victimized and bullied by Joe. I allowed James to talk about the history and anger at the evil caused by Joe. I acknowledged James’ anger and frustration and asked James how I could help him. He said we needed to resolve this. Joe just needed to go away and drop his ridiculous claims. I likewise reframed the matter in a positive manner and confirmed that the goal of the day was resolution of the entire matter. James said yes.
We began the mediation in the same room and almost immediately had to take a private session. We ended up taking about 10 private sessions in the 9 hour mediation. The parties would constantly argue, be rude, interrupt, yell and/or threaten to leave the mediation.
I constantly had to work with the parties and empathise and acknowledge their thoughts and feelings and reframe it in a positive way.
By the end of the day, the parties were working together on solutions to the issues. While it was not easy for either of them and there was lots of bad history, with my help the parties were able to reach a complete and signed resolution. I checked with them recently and except for some minor bumps, the agreement is being followed.
Like the Dalai Lama said, I as an individual can provide empathy, compassion and kindness to others and help them resolve conflict. I can resolve conflict one at a time.
Thank you Dalai Lama!