Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day Reflection

For many folks, this past Labor Day week-end is a recognition and celebration of work! I started thinking about our work as mediators and how should we celebrate? Initially, I thought about “what is mediation” and then realized it’s not about “what,” it’s about “how.”

Here’s my take on the “how” at a macro level with Labor Day in mind. As mediators we practice both a science (the science of negotiation, personal interaction, etc.) and an art (intuitive understanding, empathy, etc.). For me, being a mediator is a craft. It is something I continually study, seek to master and improve. I can find new ways to conduct the process as long as I am reflective about what I do. Be a reflective practitioner.

Here’s an easy way to give this a try. The next time you serve as mediator; do something differently from how you usually do it. It could be as simple as how you introduce yourself or how you describe your role as mediator or . . . You’ll think of something and when you do and put it into action – then you are being reflective! This first step should lead you to consider why you do the things that you do as mediator. We know that there is a reason for each word we chose, each caucus we direct and the list goes on and on.

And in your reflection, in your consideration of the “how” and “why,” you celebrate that which is mediation. Enjoy your days of labor as mediator!

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