When we are in conversation with someone, what we hear is affected by what we know (or ahem… perceive…. see my note A Chosen Perception for more on that topic). You’ve seen it all the time when you overhear a conversation between strangers. It’s easy to hear where they are mis-communicating. Sometimes you might even wish you could break in the conversation and say, “no he said this not that” just to clear it up for them.
It’s even more prominent when we have an existing relationship with the person we are in conversation with. Be it a business or interpersonal relationship; the longer we’ve known them the more we hear out of what they say. All the additional information is really helpful when communications are running smooth. You can communicate quicker and convey a larger amount of info when you know someone better.
It works in the reverse as well. When you disagree, someone could tell you the sky is blue and you know what they really mean. With that in mind it’s a wonder how every dispute doesn’t require mediation.
What mediation offers is a neutral ear. I don’t have an agenda with the issue at hand, and I don’t hear the undertone of how things are postured. I just hear information. As a mediator I can help extract the necessary information from the loaded statements of what the clients are saying they want. Even if I hear the “ulterior motive” loud and clear; I’m not personally invested in it so I can translate it more easily into useful statements of position, and we can move on.
The most important part if it, of course, is that you get to be part of the decision making process.
Mediation. Your Decisions. Your Way.