• Nicola Lewis

Get really real...

Listening to a talk by Brene Brown, a researcher who has spoken a lot on vulnerability, I heard those words...

"Get really real..so people can see you and see what you've made and see what you are doing..."

This is a theme which runs through mediation, particularly in the workplace where relationships have gone wrong and in families or between neighbours in dispute too.

I have been known to say to participants in mediation 'this is the place to have the real conversation. Not the polite, on the surface, intellectualised, considered stuff, but the real stuff that makes you feel angry or upset when you think about it, that keeps you awake at night as you rehash events, or things you wished you'd said.. and the things that you really want and the outcome that you really hope to see by the end of the mediation'.

Where appropriate (and once I have asked for permission to do so) as the impartial mediator, I dig past half truths and barbed comments. And I ask participants if they would be willing to talk about what the real actual problem is. Some people find this too difficult or painful and cannot do this work. And I will respect that. Those who can, dig deep and find it amazingly powerful when they bring their real authentic selves into the room. And to their surprise they often find that the cause of the falling out is not at all what they thought it was.

Sometimes, during the mediation process where we dig behind the feelings to uncover the unmet needs, solutions to the difficulties can also readily be found. Solutions that are also really real...

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