Friday, February 9

Blurring the lines between process and outcome

When one of the parties and their lawyer took me aside after a successful mediation to say what a good ride it had been and that they'll 'definitely see me again', I started to wonder...


Yeah, great for this mediator's ego.

...but
I knew that we got to Yes only by the skin of our pearly white teeth and only because of some one off interests on the other side - interests that could never have been guessed at and that remained hidden for the duration of the mediation.

In truth, the process was all over the map.

The day had started with an ill tempered exchange about who asked who to come to mediation which was not resolved constructively - other than me suggesting we all step out of the sandpit for the rest of the day.

We then progressed to some fairly unstructured discussion - no sense of working in competing perspectives and with heads turning slowly northwards to options, emerged.

It felt like a lumpy matress. But out of nowhere and because of hidden interests on one side, we settled.

Doesn't make it a good mediation.

Or does it?

For them it did.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's the PROCESS, right? The Heisenberg principle? all of reality being co-created? the power of intention? you, geoff sharp, BEING the technique? i helped settle one recently with "magic coins" and these were hard-headed commercial, construction and insurance guys. MAGIC COINS? and yet, THEY GOT INTO IT . . . . it's the process; it's not me or you or them, right?

Rick Weiler said...

Process Paladins. Have process. Will Travel. Over time meaning emerges for each of us on this particular path. A "craft" has been discovered, learned and, over time, slowly, refined. We create the opportunity. We convene the occasion. And, when the gears grind, we apply the lubricant.

As Elton John famously sang,

"And all this science
I don't understand
It's just my job
Five days a week
A Rocket Man"

(Who is "anonymous" anyway?...grin)

All the best Geoff

Rick Weiler
Ottawa, Canada

Geoff Sharp said...

Hey Anonymous, That's way too deep for me man, translation please...