Our agency as mediators: The idea that as mediators, we influence the course of a mediation by managing emotions, balancing power, and using our knowledge of conflict and our specialised communication skills. This agency can be effective, or it can be harmful, depending the choices we make as mediators. Reflective practice, individually or through co-mediation or peer supervision, can assist us to gain insight into our interventions, consider their impact, and explore alternatives.
Evaluative frameworks: Helen provided some excellent questions for reflective practitioners to ask themselves or each other during preparation for mediation and within mediation sessions and overall. I have expanded on them slightly:
- What are the [needs, interests, and] objectives of the parties?
[procedurally, relationally, substantively]
- What are the needs and interests of each party concerning their participation?
[as distinct from the substantive issues]
- What is the impact of culture/context on expectations regarding process and/or outcomes?
[for each party and the mediators] How are the different culture/context of the participants inter-related?
- How will the mediator and the process be responsive to each of the above factors?