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.
“If you want to be respected by others, the great thing to do is to respect yourself.” -Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Respecting others means understanding and accepting that each party’s perception of the disputed issue is that party’s reality. An effective mediator:
- Is courteous and polite to both parties.
- Accepts each individual on his or her own merit and acknowledges that each party has his or her own perception about the conflict that is true for him or her.
- Is kind and considerate of the party’s feelings.
- Supports the parties’ right to speak openly and freely.
- Supports the parties’ right to make their own decision without interference by the mediator.
When the mediator does not display respect toward the parties, they sense it immediately and may disengage from participating in the process. This may drastically affect the outcome of the mediation session. Respectful behavior includes kindness, consideration of feelings, validation of each party’s perception of the conflict, willingness to listen without judgement, being genuine and sincere, and treating the parties equally throughout the process.
Respect is mutual…when the mediator respects the parties; the parties respect one another…Respect is contagious!
Previously in the Preparing for Divorce Mediation Series: How to Choose a Mediator and How a Mediator Should Act – Silence
Next in the Preparing for Divorce Mediation Series: How to Choose a Mediator and How a Mediator Should Act – Resourcefulness
Click here for a Full Summary of the Preparing for Divorce Mediation Series.