Dear Ms. Sword:
It is with great interest that I read your article “The Mind Of A Mediator” published recently in Mediate.com
This is simply a brief note to thank you for the essay. It is worthwhile read.
Bill Withers, Ellicott City MD 03/26/09
decisions and power
Making a decision (or suggestion) that is followed means that others at the table have ceded some power to the person offering the suggestion/decision.
Could it be that what mediators sometimes do is get people at the table into the habit of ceding power to others who are making decisions/suggestions? First it is the mediator, who backs off as the habit develops for the group/within the system/culture that is present and others at the table begin to allow others to suggest/decide.
Chris , Canada 03/25/09
I really enjoyed your column! I especially appreciated your focus on systems and the important nuances in decision-making. I found your thoughts particularly insightful.
Although I have an MA in Conflict Management, I am not a mediator by trade. Instead, I work for government, where my main focus is all about encouraging positive cultures, both individually and organizationally (I use "learning" as a means of getting my foot in the door). I am a huge fan of systems analysis and interconnections.
An important part of my life's work is reflective practice, which is sometimes as simple as taking time for myself to sit and think. More than occasionally I write things down and then remind myself read it later. This is helpful for me as I consider my own impact on those around me and then system I am trying to influence. I find this to be a productive level of considering my impact on my environment. Any more and I feel I would hit a plateau and then diminishing return.
I am interested to know about your own practices and also how you developed your insight. I think you have a great perspective and I hope to read another column soon.