Because in the last marketing minute, I posted that the best marketing you can do is to have the skills to get your clients good results, perhaps it's time to spend a few marketing minutes exploring how a mediator goes about it. As there are exist many, many mediators, each with his or her own temperment, personality and style, let's start with a broad brush stroke that Charles Parselle and I used to discuss in the mediation course we taught together.
As with anything important, there are three, and exactly three, things all mediators must be in order to be successful. And here they are:
- Be Present
- Be Authentic
- Be Of Service
That's it. As with the rules of Texas Hold 'Em, however, it takes a minute to state and a lifetime to master. And yet, when you really stop to think about it, what all mediators do can trace its way back to one of these three cardinal rules.
These three things are the backbone of the experience that you leave the folks who choose to mediate with you. Your clients need to feel that 1) you are there, undistracted, actively listening and offering insight at the right time, 2) you are honest and forthright, and 3) you know what needs to be done when in order to move everyone in the right direction toward settlement and close the deal. That is how these three things work in concert to make you the best mediator you can be. And the highest praise you can get from your client traces back here too. So, the importance of these rules cannot be understated.
Each of these notions is multi-faceted. You can be as superficial or as deep as you choose with each element. The theologan can find religious undertones; the salesmen can hear them as mere sound bites. But in the end, when you are mindful of these three things, you help to awaken the participants, and help them to find their way out of the conflict that brought them to you. Isn't it the greatest thing we do!
I strongly believe there are no coincidences when it comes to who finds you to mediate, and how in some way, you are the perfect person to help the people who find you. When you hold this belief, it brings to you the power to act with the flexibility, integrity, and persistence that you will need to be of service.
I look forward to hearing from each of you as to what you believe are the general qualities all mediators need to have, and down the road, we will talk some specifics on these ideas.