Working Through Conflict Together
If you are caught in a conflict, you probably don’t know as much as you think you do about what is driving it. Usually that is because you have yet to understand the entire landscape of the dispute. You have filled in the blanks by assuming the worst of your “opponent” and by being convinced they are solely invested in making sure you don’t get what you want. But what if you haven’t got them totally pegged? What if you could find out what the other person’s actual interests and needs really are - and they could learn yours - so that you could fill in the blanks with something other than assumptions? You can and it works!
Mediation is not just a re-telling of entrenched positions but a drawing out of what has so far gone unsaid, unheard and unknown. This new information can change your understanding of what you are actually in conflict about and how it can be resolved. The fact that mediation is a voluntary and confidential process helps encourage the honest and open communication that fuels this understanding.
Through mediation I can help you see the dispute with fresh, impartial eyes. I can gain understanding along with you by listening, asking questions, revealing assumptions, and making observations that help get to the heart of the conflict. Once the parties learn each other’s real issues, needs and interests, the brainstorming can begin. Working together, you can come up with potential solutions to the dispute that take into account each other’s interests. I don’t “decide” who “wins” or what the solution should be. I help you sort through the options you have identified as working for you. And maybe you don’t reach an agreement. That’s okay, too. At least you have gone beyond assumptions and hopefully unlocked your horns so that you can all move forward with mutual empathy.
Ultimately, this mediation method preserves relationships and provides the opportunity to craft creative, effective and lasting agreements.