I wanted to share a Mediation Insight I hope may be useful that deals with the ways in which a mediator’s past personal and professional life experiences can serve to make us better mediators.
As an artist and a professional science fiction cartoonist, I have found that you sometimes get stuck when you are creating and may not know where to take your pencil or brush next.
Artists are trained to either:
A. Step back in order to gain perspective and/or see the piece from a different perspective.
B. Take a break and come back to the piece later.
By the same token, I have found this concept helpful as a mediator when the parties hit a roadblock on some issue during mediation. So when this happens in mediation, consider:
1. Try moving onto another related issue as you try to get the parties moving forward again. Then as appropriate, swing them back to the issue they were stuck on previously.
- Try taking a break. Sometimes fresh air or getting something to eat and/or drink can also help to get parties moving again.
And remember that being a well-rounded person with other interests and experiences makes us better mediators.
We have all had experiences that have shaped us into the people that we are today. For an attorney/mediator for instance, your Litigation experience, will probably use your negotiation experiences as a template to guide parties through a mediation. Sometimes, even with a great Alternative Dispute Resolution strategy in place, you still hit a wall in which both parties seem to be stuck.
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