What’s the forecast?

“My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.” *

It’s easy to dwell on the past, but we are all actually going to live in the future. Starting now.

A main principle of facilitative workplace mediators like me is that we focus on the future. Nobody can change their past, but we all can decide what’s going to happen from now.

Mediation gives everyone involved in a dispute a chance to repair the past and build a better tomorrow.

For some parties that might mean feeling recognised and valued. For others it might mean feeling respected and understood.

Everyone stands to gain something different.

The key idea there is that everyone stands to gain.

Mediators call it win-win.

* US engineer Charles Kettering (1876-1958) inventor of the electric starter motor

Whose turn is it to shout?

The Party Leaders’ Debate on BBC TV last night (Wednesday May 31) was as much about entertainment as about informing the voting public.

It might have been fun to watch, but the sight of up to seven people shouting over each other didn’t help our understanding of the issues or, in some cases, where individuals stood on them.

A proper debate is - like conflict resolution - an opportunity to engage the other side, find your  common ground and work from there towards an agreement.

A good strategy is for each participant to

  • listen to what the others said
  • check their understanding
  • put their own case
  • ensure the other parties understand what they said
  • think about what was said
  • suggest possible ways forward.

It takes time and a commitment to make the process work.

But it’s not good television!

© Osborne Mediation 2018