Melting a Mediator’s Heart

8 Jul

Last week, I was sitting in a mediation with a couple who were going their separate ways … and had been doing so for some time. One of them said something which reminded me (again!) why I love mediation so much.

So, as I was driving home, I thought about this post topic … things that people have said in mediation that just melted my mediator’s heart.

Now, before I explain more, I just want you to know that the mediation I described above resulted in a partial agreement. The parties left some issues on the table for the judge to decide. But that’s not the point of this post. It’s about how people may have benefited from mediation regardless of the outcome.

So here are some of the phrases I have personally witnessed in mediation:

  • “That’s the most we have talked in the last 5 years.” (p.s. the mediation lasted 3 hours)
  • “How come you never told me that before?”
  • “I didn’t know that.”
  • “It sounds like we both want the same thing.”

hearts flyingIn the case above, the couple was ordered to mediation by the court; they were sitting on opposite sides of the waiting area when I greeted them and moved their chairs a bit away from each other when we all sat down at the mediation table. You may not have expected them to both to get teary eyed at one point or another during our conversation together.

But that’s exactly what happened … and why I think that mediation can be so effective … if given a chance.







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