How do you feel about the prospective mediator?
Trustworthiness is demonstrated by a person’s actions, words, demeanor, and dress. First impressions are crucial. Mannerisms, vocal tone, as well as facial expression and general behavior often help determine whether or not a person is trustworthy.
Patience & Perseverance
“Patience is the best remedy for every trouble.” -Titus Maccius Plautus
Mediation requires patience and perseverance of staying power in order to give the participants ample time to engage in, and complete, their dialogue.
An effective mediator:
- Allows the process to run its natural course.
- Is patient with the parties even when they repeat themselves.
- Remains calm and collected, no matter what the parties’ emotional state – and tries to defuse emotion-charged language by reframing statements.
- Permits the parties to gently vent their anger and frustration in general session or in caucus (i.e. a caucus is when the mediator meets with each party individually. Everything said in caucus, as in the entire mediation, is strictly confidential and may not be repeated without the permission of the disclosing party).
- Stays with the process no matter how long it takes.
When people are upset, they are overly sensitive and sometimes disruptive. Emotional individuals often get angry or demanding and cannot think objectively. Patience and the ability to determine when intervention is needed (to quell heated discussions) are important attributes of an effective mediator.
Previously in the Preparing for Divorce Mediation Series: How to Choose a Mediator and How a Mediator Should Act – Flexibility
Next in the Preparing for Divorce Mediation Series: How to Choose a Mediator and How a Mediator Should Act – Positive & Optimistic
Click here for a Full Summary of the Preparing for Divorce Mediation Series.