WHY I MEDIATE
Someone asked me the other day why am I so passionate about mediation.
I thought for a moment and told him that my mission statement as a mediator is to leave to world a better place than I found it. What that means is that as an individual, I can help resolve conflict – one dispute at a time. I can accomplish this by assisting parties in resolution of the issues/dispute. When this occurs, I am achieving my goals and lessening conflict. It gives me joy.
I recently conducted a mediation between relatives who were directors of a business. There were many contentious issues and as a result the business was going through financial problems and staff were quitting. They were starting to think about liquidation. There was a deep amount of mistrust, anger and emotions between the parties.
In my initial intake with the parties, both of them said they wanted to resolve the matter, but would prefer if the other quit and just went away. The parties did agree that they would work towards resolution and follow the process. This included listening to each other.
The mediation began and the parties immediately started yelling and cursing at each other. I intervened and called a private session with each. I reminded the parties in private of the goal and asked if the still wanted to achieve it. Both said yes and agreed to follow the process and act civilly.
It took another 8-9 private sessions to assist the parties to refocus on the goals and objectives of the mediation.
Half way through the mediation, we took a lunch break and I met with the parties separately. Both of them were feeling better and believed that the process would work and the resolution would be reached. One of them even laughed at one of my jokes.
Finally, by the end of the 9 hour mediation, the parties had reached full agreement and had set a time in several months for a review. Both parties were relieved and thanked the other for resolving the matter. I checked in several weeks later and the parties were working together and it looked like to company was going to survive.
In the feedback, one of the parties thanked me for my calmness, patience and ability to allow the parties to have their say and to help the parties achieve the goals.
This is why I like my job!!