We’re often told that we must be very patient to be a family mediator. Patience may be one skill but there are others that we would suggest are far more important. These are the skills that we identify as being crucial to family mediation and to helping couples to resolve family disputes:
- Problem solving skills: often it is the logistics of making arrangements for children; or working out how both partners can be housed with the money they have available that causes more of the problems. People struggle with how to make it work and the practical logistics rather than the principles of who should have what, or when children should be with mum and when they should be with dad.
- Compassion: no one wants to end up separating from a partner and to have to tell their children that they aren’t going to live together as a family any more. Divorce recovery is hard and our mission is to help as many people as possible to navigate this process amicably, constructively and with as much dignity as possible.
- Communication Skills: as a family mediator you have to be able to explain what you mean and ask clear questions to help parties. If neither party can understand what the mediator is asking or saying then how on earth will they be able to move forward. It’s important you use other people’s terminology too. Some words resonate with people and some don’t and picking up on the words people use can be really helpful. It’s also sensible not to use words, concepts or terminology that the couple you’re working with don’t understand.
- A box of tools: having a whole library of tools, metaphors, other experts and examples you can call upon to help a couple understand where they’re at and what their options are; and, crucially, how they can make things better and move forward is a must. It’s about finding the right thing for the right couple at the right moment. If you can find that then you can really help people to improve their own situation and especially that of their children very quickly. Different things work for different people and in differing situations hence having an extensive tool kit is important.
- A non-judgmental outlook. A mediator’s role is to be impartial. It’s not our job to decide who is right, or who is wrong. We are there to help a separating couple to move forward in the divorce recovery process and to make arrangements that will work for them and their family – no one else. It is not our job to decide if the arrangements they make are right, or whether that is what we do. Each mediation is about that couple and their own tailor made resolution.
If you like the sound of family mediation based on the skillset of the mediator then please explore our blog. We have word and video blogs depending on how you like to obtain your information. Please get in touch if we can help you by calling 01306 646690 or email firstname.lastname@example.org We also mentor other mediators and run training courses for mediators so if you’re interested in becoming a family mediator again please get in touch to chat more about this.