As each of you know, in mediation, when we listen, people talk. Talking about what really matters to them so they can reach their own solutions. During this process, while being authentic, I have caught myself slightly full of emotions for the parties and often wondered if this was defying the neutral classification that we as mediators must carry out?
Just recently, while I was mediating a couple who had been involved in a domestic dispute that had been festering for over two years. I had wondered to myself “How did these two people get to this place in their lives”? During the session, I listened whole heartedly with true authenticity.
It was like each party and especially one more than the other needed that time to be heard to transition through each grieving process. As I listened patiently, my questions were beginning to be answered. During that process, I felt a tear roll down my cheek. For just a moment, I found myself losing focus from one simple tear. Then refocusing and redirecting the conversation, I was able to move forward. After a few hours of separate caucus and then the final joint session the parties were able to reach a resolution with hugs and tears at the end. Now that was a true rainbow resolution.. from such a storm to ride out in the beginning.
However, when I was at home that night reflecting on this couple and how their story touched my heart I began to question myself again? Wondering if is okay to show a bit of emotions while mediating as long as it is positive? I was told that this is part of being “authentic” and I believe it is too. What do you think or maybe it is just a part of the feminine side of mediation?