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.
“Talk low, talk slow, and don’t say too much.” -John Wayne
A mediator should be comfortable with silence and know how and when to use it. Most people are afraid of silence and feel an urgent need to fill it with something. A mediator who is able to remain silent (at the appropriate times) will learn a great deal. An effective mediator:
- Shows respect to the parties by being quiet and listening.
- Displays silence by maintaining a calm demeanor.
- Knows how to remain silent when a party displays intense emotions.
- May use silence to direct the progress of the session.
If the mediator is talking, the parties are not. The real purpose of the mediation process is to allow the parties the opportunity to communicate and co-create a durable and workable agreement. The effective use of silence is one way a mediator can stay engaged in the process; to be fully attentive to what the parties are saying and doing yet remain apart from the actual conflict.
Previously in the Preparing for Divorce Mediation Series: How to Choose a Mediator and How a Mediator Should Act – Positive & Optimistic
Next in the Preparing for Divorce Mediation Series: How to Choose a Mediator and How a Mediator Should Act – Respecting Others
Click here for a Full Summary of the Preparing for Divorce Mediation Series.