Conflict is a normal part of life but many of us avoid resolving it. We tiptoe around the issues and come up with all kinds of ways of not dealing with it directly. Why? Because we’re afraid that having it all out, saying what we really think, will make things worse. Accusations, blaming and relying on unfounded assumptions won’t resolve conflict. Mediation can.
Conflict arises when two or more people have positions on an issue that are quite different. I believe those positions are possible solutions, but they’re not the only ones. They may be many solutions that will meet your needs, and the idea behind mediation is to find a solution that feels good to both sides.
One way to demonstrate this is to ask yourself to come up with one thing on your bucket list. What’s something on your bucket list?
Maybe you want to learn to snowboard. Ask yourself why you pick snowboarding…maybe you’ll say it would bring excitement into your life. It’s a form of exercise you’d enjoy. It’s something you can do with your friends or family. It’s a way to connect.
OK, now we’re getting somewhere. Snowboarding is just one way to express a deeper desire to connect with your friends and family. The mediation process will ask you to look at other ways to meet those needs. How about starting an after-dinner walk around the neighbourhood? How about a weekend trip away somewhere? Or pull out some board games?
You see? Mediation encourages you to come up with a wide variety of ways you can get what you want out of life.
Try this exercise with your family, and see where it takes you. Keep asking why. You never know where you’ll go until you leave the familiar and set your sights on somewhere new.