What’s the recipe for successful communication in family mediation?
You can’t have successful communication in family mediation without these key ingredients:
- Active listening
You might not have the resources to source all the ingredients, but the more you have, the better your outcome will be. Think of it like a fruit cake. If all you have is flour, eggs, butter, and sultanas, it probably won’t taste as good as if you had a larger range of fruit and spices.
Successful Communication in family mediation (the ‘Method’)
So what do we do with these ingredients to maximise the chance of successful communication in family mediation?
- Begin by setting the stage for open and honest communication. This means that both of you need to be willing to approach the mediation process with an open mind, and be prepared to listen actively to the perspectives of each other. Listen with the intention of understanding, not responding.
- Empathy is a key ingredient in successful communication in mediation. It’s important to try and understand the feelings and needs of the other person, even if you don’t agree with them.
- Honesty is essential in any form of communication, but particularly important in family mediation. Be honest about your feelings, needs, and concerns, but also be prepared to hear difficult truths from others (not just the other party, but the mediator and social worker).
- Flexibility is also crucial. Be open to new ideas and different perspectives, and be willing to compromise. Mediation is about win-win outcomes and setting up successful communication in the future.
- Patience is the final ingredient, and perhaps the most important. Family mediation can be a slow process, and it’s important to be patient and allow everyone to have their say.
The finished result
By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to successful communication during family mediation. Remember that it’s not about winning or losing, but about finding a solution that works for everyone. By keeping an open mind, actively listening, showing empathy, being honest, being flexible, and having patience, you will be able to communicate effectively during the mediation process and find a resolution that is beneficial for everyone in the family and sets you up for a future with minimal conflict.