Last week I had the great pleasure of attending the North West Mediation Conference, a forum to discuss approaches to mediation, explain what methods had worked for other mediators and just as importantly what methods had gone awry.
During the discussions I refreshed my knowledge of the difference between Restorative Justice and Mediation, but of most interest to me was the fantastic notion of Lego as a mediation tool.
Now to me Lego is a thing of childhood joy, even now when my children are rifling through the tubs of Lego looking for a red 2 x 4 block the noise brings a smile to my face. Equally when they leave it lying around the floor and I tread on a piece of Lego I am reminded that parenthood can be agony at times.
But to use Lego as an actual tool in mediation, and not just for the fiddle factor, although that helps, to assist couples to work together and bridge the differences between them was an interesting topic.
I then began to think of what other childhood games either in metaphor or practice could be used in mediation, often enough mediators are the ones stopping the domino effect of starting court proceedings with the spiralling costs. Shuttle or caucus mediation is not unlike swingball, the ball going back and forth not necessarily evenly and rarely all in one direction while an agreement is reached.
There’s an element to poker in all mediations as sometimes we have to get past clients’ fronts to reach the issues behind and get them to show their hand (not that poker was a childhood game).
And of course in every mediation there’s a point when some or all of the parties enjoy that firm family favourite, Frustration.
Northwest mediation can help you with your dispute, whether it’s a building issue, a family matter or an internal problem with employees.
Call me, Ed Johnson on 07931318347 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org