In conducting more than two dozen mediation sessions in Alameda County Superior Court, what is most glaringly apparent is the extent to which mediation participants enter mediation with all-defined, hardened positions. Moreover, these individuals almost always are convinced that their interpretations of some event or events that have taken place in the past are the “correct” or “right” interpretation, and that the opposing party is simply “wrong.”
Through extensive mediation training and experience, a professional mediator becomes increasingly able to identify when a participant appears “locked into” a position, and then employ sensitive listening and empathic skills that may soon begin to loosen the grip of tightly-held, heavily egoic, positions. It is the dissolving of these firmly held positions that begins to shift a mediation focus from positions to interests.
Freed from the grip of ego, one can begin to entertain an increasingly expansive notion of “interest” to transcend one’s “self interest” which may have predominated at the outset of the mediation. “Interest” can then begin to more fully encompass a spouse, a family, a community, or even all of life. In this way, mediation can serve a transformational function as a springboard for previously untapped solutions that transcend self-interest and serve to move the participants, as well as society at large, forward in more sustainable ways.
To learn more about how mediation might work for you, contact Meditator and Holistic Lawyer Michael Lubofsky by calling (415) 508-6263, or by visiting http://www.mindfulaw.com.