Comments: I think I am successful, but am I significant?

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willam , new york city ny  centeringear@aol.com     08/17/05
may I be as the air you breathe, as necessary and as unnoticed
If you start from this premise "may I be as the air you breathe as necessary and as unnoticed" then you could feel a very satisfied mediator

Sue , Leicester UK  sugrady@cwcom.net     08/10/05
You told yourself the following - If I act as a bridge I must expect to be walked upon.

Martha Uelmen, San Jose CA   08/04/05
I do what I do so well that you didn't even realize that you needed me.

Linda , San Francisco CA  eresolve@aol.com     08/04/05
A Lao-tzu poem
This has happened a number of times and always reminds me of this ancient poem: "A leader is best When people barely know That he exists, Less good when They obey and acclaim him, Worse when They fear and despise him. Fail to honor people And they fail to honor you. But of a good leader, When his work is done, His aim fulfilled, They will say, We did this ourselves."

Linda , San Francisco CA  eresolve@aol.com     08/04/05
A Lao-tzu poem
This has happened a number of times and always reminds me of this ancient poem: "A leader is best When People barely know That he exists, Less good when They obey and acclaim him, Worse when They fear and despise him.

Randy Duque, Philadelphia PA   08/04/05
I would say
I would take it as a compliment, both as a transformative meditator and facilitative practitioner. As transformative mediators are non-directive, hearing someone say "we could've done this ourselves" tells me that I did my job right. In the way I practice facilitative mediation, hearing this shows me that I was able to truly facilitate the parties discussion and use my inevitable influence to guide them through the process, rather than the parties.

Nicola  , Napier New Zealand  nhartfield@paradise.net.nz     08/03/05
I would say to him' hey thats great, good for you' I would think to myself.... seeing as I allowed him to think that he had done sooo well, he is bound to use me again in order to experience a good feeling about himself again! Hey thats great for business... and good for him too!

Cliff Hendler, Toronto On  chendler@rogers.com     08/03/05
Geoff, You probably said (or at least muttered under your breath), "Did u also say that to your dentist when he pulled out your molars??" Great start, Geoff, Nice to see another IAM'er being so creative with this! Cheers, Cliff

Julia Napier, Wellington NZ   08/01/05
To understand why he said what he said, think about how the parties to the dispute feel when the thing gets resolved. They often feel a bit cheated that this problem that they have agonised about, had moral dilemmas about, maybe even cried in the toilets about, is actually not intractable after all. It took some guy with a whiteboard to make them see it, and he didn't even make it seem all that difficult. He unwittingly challenged their sense of their own importance. Ooh, ugly. The parties will sometimes have a sense of anticlimax at the end of a successful mediation. No more opportunity for them to argue and threaten each other. So this guy with the whiteboard has also deprived them of some deeply rewarding negative behaviours. What a spoil-sport. It might even occur to the parties, as a result of working through the mediation process, that they could choose to abandon bickering and threats altogether in their future interactions with others, and adopt some more positive behaviours to avoid creating intractable problems in the first place. Now that would be challenging. Is there no end to the cans of worms this whiteboard guy has opened? So when the guy in the suit fronted up to you and said what he said, I think the subtext might have been: "I can't believe you solved this thing when I couldn't. Anyway, I was quite looking forward to my day in court - I'd drafted my closing remarks already. And what's more, if I come up against a similar problem in future and handle it the same old way as before, I'll look like a charlie who doesn't learn from his mistakes. So thanks. Thanks a lot, mate." The only question of significance here is how significant a change the guy in the suit chooses to make in his future interactions with others, to avoid creating intractable problems. And that's his responsibility, not the mediator's.

Gene , Los Angeles CA   07/26/05
I would probably say "glad to hear that you had an enjoyable experience", while thinking on one level "if you could have done it without me you would have (asshole), but the fact of the matter is that you couldn't and you didn't" and, on another deeper level, "I should feel really good about the work that I did today because it included giving others a sense of empowerment even at the expense of my own ego and self-aggradizement." Like good stage lighting at a play, you know it was done skillfully if no one noticed it very much. Congratulations on a job well done and best wishes from your IAM buddy in Santa Monica, California. Gene Moscovitch.