Traits of a Skilled Mediator
A mediator is called in when an issue is already present. In most instances both parties are already polarized in their positions and are sure they are right and the other party is wrong. They usually do not feel heard and they may be upset and angry. The mediator’s job is insure that each party feels heard and to help them move from their polarized positions to where they can find solutions to the issue that are fair and work for each party. The mediator brings a different consciousness to the participants. The mediator does not bring solutions to the issues, that is the function of the participants, but the mediator does bring the process whereby the participants can find fair and equitable solutions.
Content Neutral - A skilled mediator needs to remain neutral when dealing with issues.
Maintaining focus - A skilled mediator uses many techniques to foster creative thinking while still keeping the participants focused on the issues at hand. The skilled mediator knows when to intervene either using assertiveness or humor as the occasion demands.
Being constantly there - The mediator is trained in all forms of communication and is constantly reading verbal as well as body language messages for any sign of dissention, loss of interest, disruptive behavior, anger, or any dynamic that impacts the mediation.
Building community - The skilled mediator's function is to bring the participants to an agreement acceptable to both and to provide a means for them to settle new issues peacefully and lovingly.