This is cross posted from the Linkedin.com group "Commercial and Industry Arbitration and Mediation Group."
Vickie Pynchon provided her extensive list of traits for successful mediators. This list is the topic for an upcoming ADRhub Podcast episode.
1. the ability to reflect on one's own biases and act against them
2. the courage to tell people things they don't want to hear in a way they can hear it
3. the ability to help people shift their point of view by asking powerful reality-testing questions
5. a commitment to withholding judgment while at the same time helping the parties evaluate their positions, their perceived interests, and the means by which they hope to satisfy those interests
6. highly developed critical thinking and problem solving skills
7. the ability to instill trust in a very short amount of time (see, empathy)
8. the willingness to be transparent and vulnerable, i.e., to let the parties know you have run out of ideas and could use their help in moving them toward their goal
9. the ability to establish and maintain an atmosphere of hope and safety, particularly at a time when everyone is feeling too frustrated to perservere
10. the ability to call people to their higher angels
11. the willingness to let things spiral out of YOUR control, particularly when the parties insist over and over again that they need to say or hear something you do not believe will be helpful (this comes under the general rubric of remembering you do not have all the answers)
12. study, study, study, study what the masters know
13. learn and be able to skillfully use both hard competitive and soft interest-based negotiation strategies and tactics
14. the firm belief that there's a little bad in the best of us and a little good in the worst of us coupled with the ability to draw out the good and not judge the bad.
15. patience, persistence, practice
16. NEVER EVER being satisfied with your performance
17. realizing the point is not settling the case but creating a forum in which the parties have the greatest chance of resolving their conflict on their terms without giving up that which is most important to them
18. Understanding that NOTHING is EVER about money but rather is about what money represents or how it can be successfully deployed (at the least expense to both parties) to resolve the dispute.
19. Respecting the parties' voice (never say "that's irrelevant") and choice (never tell them they can't do what they want to do)
20. Put your whole heart and your whole mind into the endeavor and practice your trade with the deepest humility and gratitude for the privilege of helping people resolve one of the most important problems in their lives
I see it as being a mediator, I am not judging others- especially from the perspective of 'good' or 'bad' or even 'right' or 'wrong'.
It is actually nice, compared to some of the other work I do, to be a guide instead of the authority telling people what to do.
Having that belief of the 'good' is possible in individuals and situations, for me, give me energy and hope to continue helping those in conflicts and disputes.
Nicole Bohe said:
Number 14 fascinates me. These all seem accurate in theory, it would be interesting to hear some more about how these were developed/practiced. Maybe it all comes down to studying, studying, studying!
I agree. I think people who are drawn to ADR/conflict resolution are very empathetic. Therefore, telling people bad things is a difficult step. But if we really want to help them work through the issue, then we must overcome uncomfortable tasks such as this. I think it's important not to overthink the situation, i.e. "ok I'll say this and then they might say this or this or this." It's comfortable to plan for contingencies but not always helpful. Does that make sense?
Long story short, I agree with you!
Randy Morrow said:
I'm drawn to Number 2. I've always been fascinated with finding ways to tell people things I don't want to hear; but, need to hear, in a way that sounds acceptable to them.