Mediation is often described using adjectives like the “power” or “promise” that it offers to those who try it.
But what is this power of mediation?
Communication, or its absence, often lies at the root of conflict. Once a separating couple becomes enmeshed in the litigation process, communication invariably occurs through lawyers– who are hired to be fearless advocates for their clients. This dynamic often leads to escalation of disputes, with opportunities for dialogue limited to adversarial environments such as four-way meetings with lawyers and case conferences with judges.
But when those same clients step out of the litigation process and into mediation, often after years of arguing, they are given the opportunity to articulate exactly what it is they need and want to end the conflict.
Being acknowledged, giving or receiving an apology or simply speaking face to face is often enough to end what might otherwise appears to be intractable conflict.
Mediators allow clients to drive the agenda, giving the clients back the control they have lost in litigation. It is also our role to untangle the conflict so that the real issues come to the surface, allowing clients to see a way out of the conflict.
This is the power of mediation.
If you want to read more about apologies in family mediation, click here.