Thursday, April 30, 2009

How we do our work as mediators

I recently came across an interview with Ron Hawkins who is the National Ombuds for McDonald’s USA working with both franchise and employee issues. He was asked about his work and explained that resolving conflicts was primarily based on trust – “You build credibility by building trust, and you build trust by doing the right thing. It’s not who’s right, it’s what’s right. And it’s not what’s done, but how it’s done.”

This is a great reminder to us as mediators – it’s what we do and how we do it that matters. In fact, the “how we do it” is probably as much or more important than what we do.

Our skill set is about process both in terms of how we do “things” and the “things” we ask of mediation participants. Do we change how we do “things” as the mediation progresses? I’m sure we do; however, within such differences let me remind you that how you do things at the beginning of your mediation and how you do things at the end should be consistent and framed by the tenets of mediation as you subscribe. For me these include, among others, being impartial, neutral, an advocate for the process, and seeking participant self determination. Even as I may connect more with one or more participants I must still maintain a level of professionalism that allows me to hold the big mediation picture in place and stay in my mediator role.

So, next mediation, reflect on how you do “things” at the start and at the finish.

1 comment:

britney said...

nice post and thanks for sharing...
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