I’m tired of being called a Mediation Neutral.
Most Mediators describe themselves as being a neutral. It doesn’t help that the courts and clients expect us to be neutral and describes us as such. But mediators in Europe have difficulty with the description.
In the German Language the term for neutral most closely translates back into English as ‘null’. So translating it back to English, to be a null means a Mediator as a neutral is without value, effect, consequence, or significance. Further more a Mediator amounts to nothing and is nonexistent. In math when a variable has no value, it is considered to be null. Having a null value is different than having a value of zero, since zero is an actual value.
No wonder Europeans have had difficulties with the term neutral. I am much more than a zero let alone a null. The German term used to describe what a Mediator does is a better description of what I do without speaking German. Their term encompasses the following ideas:
- I’m parcel to everyone equally.
- I’m acting for everyone and in everyone’s best interest.
- I advocate for a just solution to the dispute.
- I’m attentive to all the interests of the parties.
This concept is better idea of what I am as a mediator. I am not a potted plant just sitting there all day hoping that a solution pops up. I work hard with the parties to find a just solution in a timely manner.
Thanks to my Mediation Society Colleagues, Bruce Edwards, Patrice Prince and Dana Curtis for sharing this idea. They attended the International Summer School on Business Mediation in Admont, Austria this last summer.
About the Author: Ken Strongman (www.kpstrongman.com) has years of experience and a growing national reputation as a mediator and arbitrator. He has successfully resolved more than a thousand disputes in the fields of construction defects, real estate, intellectual property, and employment. He is also a Mediator and Arbitrator for FINRA.
© 2016 Ken Strongman. All Rights Reserved. Please do not copy or repost without permission.