If you’re involved in mediation, how do you know that your mediator is impartial? Mediators are neutral third parties and are often referred to as neutrals because they’re not biased toward one side or the other. Now, we’re all humans with fears, anxieties, and suspicions, so how do you really know if your mediator is impartial?
Well, let’s be real, everyone has goals and intentions and a mediator is no different. In fact, it’s untrue to say that a mediator is truly impartial because a good mediator is partial. But they’re not partial to any particular party, a good mediator is partial to a successful solution.
As mediators, we are partial to a solution. Our goals and intentions are to help you and the other party find a successful solution to your conflict. A successful solution is not one that is coerced or forced, but one where all parties feel heard and reach a solution that works for everyone. As mediators, we want to hear both sides of the story, but that doesn’t mean we’re identifying with one side versus the other. It means that we’re getting the whole perspective of the conflict from different angles to fully understand where both sides are coming from. We want the solution to be a good thing for both parties.
As a party in mediation, it should be a good thing to see the mediator working with the other party because that ultimately means you don’t have to. If you’re already in a conflict with this person or party, let your mediator hear the brunt of their complaints and raw emotions so that when you come together, all you’re discussing is the facts. It’s the role of the mediator to understand what’s important to both parties and to find where your goals already overlap.
A good mediator is impartial to the parties they serve but partial to a successful solution to the conflict. If there’s no resolution, as mediators, we feel that we’ve failed. We know that afterward, we can move on and take another case, but if there’s no solution, you’re still stuck with the conflict. A good mediator will be partial to a good solution for all parties, and the last thing we want to do is leave you with unresolved conflicts.