Mediator In the Middle, Mixing Things Up

I’ve described how the mediator is “something in the middle” that changes the way people in conflict interact. What does that actually look like? How does that work in the mediation of your dispute?¬†What does it feel like?

Well, to be honest, at times it doesn’t feel very good. It’s not always pretty. It may not be pleasant and it can be unsettling. Sometimes it’s just plain uncomfortable.

If it makes you feel any better, just think that it’s not any easier for the other guy, either.

But seriously: does it have to be this way? Why am I doing that?

When I’m working with you in difficult disputes, I’m right there in it with you. And I’m all-in: for you and for the other person. What you were doing before didn’t work. So I’m mixing things up so you can both do something different – something that works.

I’m disrupting old destructive communication patterns so you can create new productive ones. I’m disturbing outmoded reactions so you can choose constructive responses. I’m channeling unworkable demands so you can repackage them into workable proposals. I’m making things different in your conflict dynamic so you can choose productive interactions. That’s the way for you to get to the solution that works for both of you.

Eventually you will see me becoming more catalytic and constructive. You will find yourself engaging with each other person and having productive interactions that weren’t happening before. Instead of trading threats and ultimatums, you’re now exchanging information, ideas and proposals. You’re now discovering the solutions that were eluding you.

That’s assuming that you’re paying attention to what I’m doing. But¬†hopefully by this time you’re not thinking about me at all.

This is why you need “something” – someone – in the middle. Even mixing things up a bit. Things need to be different so you can choose to interact with each other in a new way. So you can work out your own solution with them. Which is what mediation is all about.

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