Mediation and Harry Potter: Mediators are like magic wands
By Thomas Ervin
As fans of the Harry Potter series, my wife and I were excited about the release of the final film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2. We made an appointment, bought our tickets, and were magically transported to the fantastic world of wizards, witches and muggles for about 2 hours. It felt great! We loved it so much that the next day we saw him again with my mother-in-law.
For me, there is nothing like a well-crafted adventure / fantasy film that takes me away from reality for a much-needed respite from the demands of the day. For those of you who haven't seen it yet, I won't spoil it for you. Please read on.
Of course, as long as there is a magic story, there is very likely to be magic wands involved. During this movie, audiences receive more detailed information on magic wands, which I thought could serve as a perfect comparison to mediators. So without further ado ...
Magic wands are described as unique. Each one is made of different ingredients. Some are more flexible than others. Some have characteristics like "unbreakable". In fact, it is implied that wands are sensitive. In other words, magic wands have the ability to know and perceive; They have a conscience.
For example, one of the characters, Draco Malfoy, while pointing his wand directly at Harry Potter, explains to Harry that he borrowed his mother's Child Support. Draco later expresses that his mother's wand is powerful, but he doesn't really understand it.
So how does all of this relate to mediators?
Like magic wands, mediators are unique. Each mediator brings a different life experience to the mediation table and perceives the world through their unique life filters.
For example, a mediator who had a chaotic or out-of-control childhood due to some family dysfunction may feel an intense need to exercise strict control over the mediation process. He / she may not be flexible enough to consider a creative alternative to the mediation process that you have implemented. If your mediation would benefit from a different mediation process than the mediator chooses, chances are you're unlucky with this mediator.
NOTE: During my Master of Law program at the Straus Institute, I had a fantastic course with Bill Eddy titled "Conflict Psychology". Bill Eddy is an attorney and licensed clinical social worker, and directs the High Conflict Institute. We studied groups of high-conflict personality types and associated conflict-related behavioral traits. Naturally, some mediators exhibit high-conflict behaviors, as in the previous example.
Like magic wands, some mediators are more flexible than others. For example, in cases where there is a history of domestic violence, a prudent mediator will seriously consider keeping the parties separate throughout the mediation process to eliminate the possibility of intimidation and provide the victim with a safe environment, where he / She feels comfortable opening up, being vulnerable, and communicating effectively.
Personally, I have been involved in a mediation in which the parties had a history of domestic violence, and the mediator did not separate the parties or encourage the parties to meet in the same room. This approach is neither right nor wrong and will depend on the circumstances of a case, and shows that mediators simply have different perspectives and approaches to mediation and domestic violence.
Like magic wands, mediators have characteristics that can affect the success of your mediation. For example, some mediators are overbearing or overbearing, while others may be more relaxed and patient. Some mediators are very outgoing and may speak more than he / she hears, while others are more introverted and likely to hear more than he / she speaks.
Like Draco's mother's wand, his mediator may not understand. Does he / she have knowledge or understanding of personality type theory? Can he / she use that knowledge to facilitate communication between the parties? If you are an artist and have a mediator who is an engineer, it is very likely that he / she simply does not understand you or your perspective on your dispute.