The Qualities of a Mediator. Is it Difficult to Find a Professional Mediator?

There are interesting words in English that characterize people - mindful, resourceful and trustworthy. These words most accurately reflect the required minimum set of qualities of a professional mediator.

Such qualities are rarely combined in one person. In mediation, 20% of mediators provide dispute resolution services to 80% of clients. In mediation, as in any complex intellectual services, experience, authority and professional reputation are of great importance.

Mediators are most often lawyers who assist in the settlement of disputes. In most cases, mediation becomes a second profession for a lawyer. The mediator has that reputation and the trust of clients that he or she acquired in his or her first profession.

A mediator gains a good reputation due to the following qualities:

1) Neutral and impartial attitude towards people, emotional restraint, poise and calmness,

2) The ability to listen carefully and observe the interlocutor, to understand what is said and what is not said,

3) Curiosity in the search for the true interests of a person,

4) Ability to ask open-ended, unbiased questions,

5) Pragmatism in assessing interests and finding solutions,

6) Dispute resolution idea generator and assistant in generating such ideas from other people,

7) A high level of development of logic, helping the parties to understand the consequences of their steps, analytical mindset,

8) The ability to simply and clearly convey to people the consequences of conflicts,

9) A sense of humor and a sense of drama, that is, the ability to understand and empathize with people who have asked for help in resolving a conflict.

This is how their clients describe good mediators, and mediators themselves consider these qualities the most important in their profession.

In addition, mediators must abide by a code of ethics, moral rules established in society, and simple rules of etiquette. It is hard to imagine a successful mediator who is consistently late, fails to respond promptly, makes false promises, or plagiarizes.

Thus, a true mediator can be a person who has established authority in society and has a special set of business qualities. There are few such people in society.

The business qualities necessary for a mediator can be developed in oneself. Good mediators become purposeful and positive people who teach mediation, and those who are engaged in education in the field of mediation and negotiations, that is, those who constantly improve their educational level in this area, study psychology, the specialization of conflicts they work with. To develop the ability to generate ideas, the mediator can engage in creativity (for example, literature or painting).

Agree, all this requires a lot of work and work on yourself. Therefore, answering the question posed in the title, I note that it is extremely difficult to find a professional mediator. But still, let's hope that gradually there will be more and more such specialists.

This article was first published on the blog of the Mediation Center Solis. To support the release of new materials on the topic of negotiations, diplomacy and mediation, participate in mediation events and receive news from the world of negotiators, subscribe to the channel of the Mediation Center Solis.

Photo by Severin Höin on Unsplash