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Mindful : April 2018
SEEKING HELP Meditations on Mediation Sometimes a disagreement or dispute is so heated or complex, it seems impossible to see the bigger picture that allows you to find common ground and creative solu- tions. In those cases, it may be wise to seek the help of a neutral third par ty. If the dis- pute is significant enough (for example, marital, financial, or commercial), you may need to find a trained, paid mediator. Here are some things to con- sider that may help to create a more mindful mediation. Think about what you want to accomplish through mediation. Do you want the mediator to be more directive and to suggest options, or do you want someone who gives fewer opinions in order to get the two parties to take more responsibility for the agreement? Finding your mediator. Use referrals and word of mouth as well as local and national mediation organiza- tions. Ask people you trust to recommend potential mediators—friends, lawyers, or therapists and health pro- fessionals. Check credentials. There are mediators who use mindfulness. Don’t be afraid to ask about that. Meet the mediator. Nothing replaces your firsthand impressions of the person. Ask the mediator about their code of ethics, confidentiality, their methods, and their goals. Don’t forget that there are two parties to the dispute. Can both of you work well with the person you’re considering? A neutral third party can make all the difference in a rough dispute. Here are some tips for how to find and work with a mediator. In the heat of the moment. Mediation is not magic, even in the hands of the best mediators. You may well be triggered, lash out, melt down, act in ways you’re not proud of. That’s OK. A good mediator will help you find a way to let the process work. Give it the time, space, and patience it needs. You want resolution. Remember that you’re head- ing for a destination you don’t know the shape of yet, so it will help during periods of hazy uncertainty to recall that you do want to get to the other side. If at first, you don’t succeed... If your first crack at mediation is failing, don’t lose hear t. Take a break. Pick yourself up, dust off, and try it again, with another mediator if need be.