• Nicola Lewis

Whose mediation is it anyway?

Some poeple come to mediation expecting us to tell them what they should be doing. Either in the way a lawyer would: "What do you advise me to do?" or as one person to another :" What would you do in my situation? Does that seem fair? What would you be asking for?"

I am neither your adviser nor (nothing personal) your best friend. These are not my roles as a mediator. My role is as someone who has refined her communication and conflict resolution skills, over a (ahem) long period of time. I am there to help you to find what works for you.

Behind those feelings of fear, anger or frustration what needs are not being met? How could they best be met? What is possible? What is realistic? What options have you not considered? And so on.. but I am simply not there to tell you what to do in the world outside mediation.

However it is my job to shape a mediation process which will work for the participants.

As a mediator it is my process and it is my role to hold that process in a way that is safe and boundaried for all those involved. This means I sometimes have to be quite clear and let people know that I will create the conditions which in my view will help them to have the conversation. I will ask you to let me know what you feel would work for you, and then, with your interests in mind I set the framework for the meeting and I will hold that framework in the way that we all sign up to at the start of the meeting. So whilst it will be your mediation, it is my process, as I have done this many times before.I may have a better insight into what you may need in order to be able to hear each other and to listen in a way that perhaps you haven't been able to in the past. Moving you on from conflict to agreement.

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