Breaking Good Mediation
Matlack Mediation Services LLC
What We Would Surely Like to Achieve
If a (divorce) mediation is going to be successful, here are some important issues, all of which must be true:
+Each individual must be fully invested in the process, at least, by the time agreement has been reached
+The process provides a “win-win” rather than win-lose; however, to get there, probably each individual is going to need to give and get
+Working out a shared agreement preserves hope and opportunity for the future; it cannot change the past but it can point each party in a new direction where each has maintained their dignity and secured a possibility for having a “new normal” in the days to come
These goals all work for general mediation also.
King Saul is Not our Role Model
Reading through Samuel you learn a great deal about conflict, unresolved, out-of-control, violent, personal. Israel’s first King Saul loses his equilibrium over his rival young upstart David and before you know it spears are flying and search parties formed and a son (Jonathan) is pressured – we call it forming a destructive triangle – to hand over his friend. The court had recruited David to play the harp to calm Saul’s fevered temperament, and today we have serious medication for this affliction, yet he still flew into rages, surrendering his virtue to unchecked passion for retribution.
Not all conflict can be mediated. We know how things can spin out of control, sometimes with alarming speed, making peaceful interaction more difficult. Like Saul, and even David for that matter, we probably learned little about self-introspection and conflict resolution.
Jesus says, Start with yourself. If you are on our way to the altar to offer a gift and you remember someone has a grudge against you, leave your gift behind for later and reconcile the conflict first. Take responsibility, as much as you legitimately can, for the conflict. Get it right, if at all possible, before you pretend falsely all is well and make an offering to God as if it were all good. Right away and face-to-face are good conflict resolution procedures.
In mediation, we prefer to address sooner rather than later and ‘in person’ is the key element to bringing about a shared resolution. Go and do likewise.