How Do You Know That A Mediator is Impartial?

  • January 3, 2023
  • 3 min read

In the realm of mediation, the term “impartiality” is often used to describe the mediator’s role as a neutral third party. However, understanding human nature and acknowledging the existence of personal goals and intentions, one might question how to ensure that a mediator is genuinely impartial. In reality, mediators are not entirely impartial – they are, in fact, partial to a successful resolution.

Mediators: Not Truly Impartial, but Purposefully Partial

It’s crucial to recognize that claiming complete impartiality would be disingenuous. Mediators, or neutrals as they’re commonly referred to, have their own goals and intentions. The key distinction lies in understanding what a mediator is partial to – and the answer is a successful outcome. A skilled mediator is inherently partial to reaching a solution that satisfies all parties involved.

Partial to a Solution, Not to a Side

The misconception arises when parties involved in mediation misinterpret the mediator’s actions. Just because a mediator listens attentively to one party, allowing them to express their concerns and feelings, doesn’t mean they are taking sides. A mediator’s goal is to fully comprehend and immerse themselves in the perspectives of both parties. They care about each participant individually, seeking a comprehensive understanding.

Empathy Toward Both Parties: A Necessary Element

When a mediator displays empathy towards one party, it’s not an indication of favoritism. Instead, it’s a strategic approach to ensure that both sides feel heard, understood, and cared for. Mediators take on the responsibility of connecting with both parties, fostering an environment where emotions can be expressed without compromising the integrity of the process.

Let the Mediator Bridge the Empathy Gap

Empathy is a challenging emotion to extend toward someone whom you feel may have wronged you or does not have your best interests at heart. This is where a mediator’s expertise becomes invaluable. Their role is to navigate the emotional complexities on behalf of both parties, without compromising the neutrality required for effective mediation.

Passion for Resolution: The Mediator’s Driving Force

A good mediator is not just impartial; they are passionate about achieving a resolution. The very essence of their role is tied to the success of the mediation process. Failure to reach a resolution is not just a setback; it is a profound disappointment for a mediator. The dedication to resolving conflicts is what sets a mediator apart, and their passion for successful outcomes is palpable throughout the mediation journey.

Embracing the Inherent Impartiality of Mediation

In summary, the impartiality of a mediator is intrinsic to the mediation process, and a good mediator’s partiality lies in their passion for achieving resolution. Acknowledging this reality is essential for participants to trust the mediation process fully. By allowing the mediator to navigate the intricacies of empathy and understanding, parties can focus on what matters most – finding common ground and reaching a mutually beneficial resolution.

So, the next time you witness a mediator passionately working towards a solution, understand that it is not a betrayal of one party in favor of another. It is a commitment to the mediation process and a genuine desire to see conflicts resolved, leaving all parties in a better place than when they began.

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