According to popular LinkedIn research, 80% of people “do not enjoy” or “strongly hate” their jobs. In 2010, the research said that 80% of people were “dissatisfied” with their jobs. The word “hate” seems really strong in light of doing something on a daily basis. In fact, I feel like a freak when I read this statistic because I love my job, as a Mediator.
Let me demystify what mediation is.
What is mediation?
It is an alternative dispute resolution mechanism where the goal is to resolve a conflict – but not in a winner versus looser manner. Conflict resolution is about reaching an understanding and letting go of our need to fight and be right. We can stop wasting so much energy on changing the other party, and instead learn a new communication style to enhance our lives.
Mediation is a model where if you are divorcing a spouse, you decide that you and your co-parent can focus on your family and make decisions using a third party that is right for your family. The Judge does not need to tell you what is best for your family, a Parent Evaluator does not have to judge who is the better or best parent. Both parents have equal access to the information, and both parents choose what is in their children’s best interest.
What is not to like about working through conflict as a neutral third party and assisting those in the room come to a “resolution” they can feel good about and live with? Often times people are actually able to start a great conversation and over time due to getting the misunderstanding and chaos out of the relationship’ and actually become amicable friends.
We often see this during the process of adoption mediation. An adoptive parent may arrive all nervous, assuming that the birth parent is going to judge them for not parenting their newly adopted child well. Come to find out, all the birth parent wants to say is, “Thank you for taking care of my child so well.”
Or, “I knew I could not take care of my child the way my child deserved to be treated…”
What an awesome truth that needs to be communicated because that is too heavy of a message to keep inside one’s heart and mind! The adoptive parent is now able to capture that message and raise their adopted child better. Plus, the biological parent is able to take that freeing feeling with them, knowing that the miracle of their child’s birth was not for naught. Oftentimes great relationships start to be formed in this situation. Other times the relationship does not grow deeper than this, but both parties are empowered to go forward and live their lives less encumbered.
Mediation has long term affects for all parties involved. So often our stories were not meant to be an autobiography, but should instead be able to be a biography – told by a multitude of people in an inspiring, but different manner because the experience will mean different things to different people. And that is truly the art of resolution!
If you are willing to give peace a chance to reign in your current dispute, I would like you to think about trying a new way of living. Let someone else into your world, and open a wider perspective on your side of the story. This often takes a lot of courage and a time commitment. However, from my experience it is well worth the attempt. And who knows, you might even gain a great friend in the process.
One thing I can guarantee you is that you will know yourself better…and I have a feeling that to know you is to love you!