A day in the life of Carolyn Hanes, Family and Commercial Mediator

May 26, 2014

What might a typical day look like in the life of a mediator? How are our days structured? What do you actually do?

Great questions – not so easy to answer!

Mediators work with conflict, we immerse ourselves in it! Our aim is to facilitate and promote the conversation necessary for mediation clients to form their own fair and workable outcomes.

All sounds good, but how do we do that?

There is no absolute formula to achieve this; no preconceived code which may be applied.

The artistry lies in the use of words, in building trust and rapport, in allowing the participants to feel safe and heard.  It is only then, that clients will loosen their hold on their position, their own view of the conflict and the conflict story.

Conflict drives behaviour – it may be anger, sadness or a resistance to communicate.

The assumption is that mediation clients want some sort of change – as curious questioners, mediators explore this assumption. We may begin by asking ‘by being here you want something different? What does different look like to you?’

So, we don’t resolve conflict – we promote conversation to make ‘agreement readiness’.

So a day in the life? 

Bringing peace into the room.

……I had learnt to find out the better side of human nature and to enter men’s hearts.  I realised that the true function of a lawyer was to unite parties riven asunder.  The lesson was so indelibly burnt into me that a large part of my time during the 20 years as a lawyer was occupied in bringing about private compromises of hundreds of cases. I lost nothing thereby – not even money, certainly not my soul’



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