Since the group seems to be in a contemplative and introspective mood, and since I do agree that often times a mediator finds the participants in an internal wrestling match, let's focus on how a mediator can be "of service" during this struggle. While the notion that being of service had many spirals and curves, there is no doubt that you will encounter participants caught in a spider's web of his/her own making. I call it being "locked up." It often occurs when the person goes into the rabbit hole of analysis and ends up in paralysis. They are overwhelmed in minutae and miss the big picture. Other times, a reactive person who is not well versed in analytical thought is moved in that direction (which actually happened to me in my case today) which forces him to confront the reality of unrealistic expectations.
The trick to being of service is to be able to assess each individual's needs and their internal location relative to where he or she needs to be. In the overly analytical person, the human touch is required. A dispute is much more than money or material things, though that is often all that there is to trade. No matter how hard boiled, each person is human, and if you search, you can find the connection that will link the participants and elevate him to a human level.
Because the lion's share of my cases involve money, the person with the money is most often the analytic. But that is by no means universal.
The opposite extreme is the emotionally reactive person who wants what neither mediation nor the court system can provide. The soon to be ex-spouse who really wants to remain married; the person in chronic pain who would trade a blank check to be free of her injury; the neighbors who become karmically bound to the dispute but in a conundrum of pettiness and negativity. To be of service here is to elevate out of the emotional morass. The first step is to listen carefully. The second is to validate the emotion. The third is to move her to a more rational place in which she acts in her own self interest within the possible, rather than the desired or the wished. Most of all, people want to be respected. Sadly, many people forget that the way the universe works you have to give to get. You can facilitate the start of this awareness, and guide those open to receiving the rest.
Yes, easy to say. But I agree that the mediator has to have a level of self-actualization along with some heartache of his/her own to make the connection and be of service. Thus, our own internal struggles and insight that evolves are one of the most important things we bring to the table.
What does this have to do with marketing? Well, the lawyers who represent the folks who come to you, and with your help find their way out of the dispute are really appreciative and impressed. That keeps them coming back.
I look forward to seeing everyone on the 23rd. Please sign up asap as we're about out of room.