Check out these words - inspire, encourage, negotiate, listen, dream, envision, communicate, collaborate, empower. According to a recent publication from the School of Public Heath at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, these are some of the more important characteristics of leaders. The article, "Public Health Leaders" and actually the entire Spring 2008 Carolina Public Health magazine is devoted to leadership in the public health field; however, for me it was the words that got me thinking about our work as mediators.
We are process leaders.
Each time we serve as mediator, we lead a process to explore the resolution of a dispute or conflict. Do we inspire the participants in our mediations? Do we help them dream? Do we help participants empower themselves? The list is long, even longer than the nine words above, and yet I wonder how aware are we as mediators about our role as process leader?
Thus, in your next mediation, think about how you lead. Are there areas that need further exploration? Do you need to fine tune your leadership skills? Reconsider your mediation process - is there something that you might do differently?
Be aware and in so doing you will be an even stronger leader!