All the time, knowing I am a mediator, people share stories of conflict in their lives:
- “Since our mom went into long-term care, my brother and I fight constantly about her estate and what will happen. It was never like this before.”
- “I’m at an impasse with my business partner; we can’t agree how to go forward on a project for which we’re both responsible. I’m so frustrated and we might lose the contract if we don’t figure it out.”
- “Two of my cousins ignore each other at family gatherings – in fact, they haven’t talked for five years. It makes us all uncomfortable.”
We all have to deal with conflict – it’s part of the human condition. And much of the time, we do figure out how to resolve our conflicts because, hey, it’s in everyone’s best interest to do so.
Sometimes though, we’re really stuck. We don’t know how to move forward and yet we can’t step out of the problem. It may be a new dispute or a long-standing, simmering conflict. It can make us feel helpless, infuriated, depressed. Other people may have lots of advice for us, but the advice may not be helping.
A New Beginning
Guess what? The answer to your conflict lies with you and the other person (or persons) in your dispute. You have everything you need to solve your dilemma. Typically though, you’ve come to a standstill because of hurt feelings, strong emotions and opposing points of view. You believe you’ve done all you can do – that it’s the other party who needs to move, or compromise. And, the other party thinks exactly the same thing about you. You’re deadlocked.
Mediation can offer you this: a confidential, private space to delve into your conflict, supported by a trained mediator. A mediator who is not vested in either person’s “win”, but who is vested in having both parties heard and understood in a safe place. The mediation process, while not guaranteed, can move mountains in a conflict. Parties come to mediation voluntarily, they stay voluntarily, and if they really want to resolve their conflict, they will keep at it.
At the start of a mediation, I ask each party , “What do you hope could be better tomorrow, if you can have the conversation you came to have today?” The answers to this question are loaded with opportunities to unlock the knot of a conflict. Whether it’s business or personal, conflict can be resolved.
For more information, contact Trish at [email protected]