I became a mediator for several reasons, the main being I saw so many people entangled in legal disputes, to which they had little recourse, or access to justice if you like, other than pursuing claims through court and the traditional civil litigation process, which in itself provides little if any justice if you are the party who ends up losing at trial and perhaps not the cause, catalyst for the dispute. In addition the time, expense and stress it comes with is phenomenal and in most cases very disproportionate to what the parties are originally claiming for.
Coupled with my natural problem solving skills I decided to train as a mediator and the rest as they say is history and I have never looked back. One of the key things about mediating and being a mediator is that I thoroughly enjoy it, no mediation is the same, I get to travel to different locations, which I must admit as I have got older is slightly less appealing, however I get to meet different and interesting people from all walks of life, and various personalities that one has to manage, albeit challenging at times, however very stimulating.
One of the key things I really enjoy about being a mediator is the satisfaction I get out of leading parties to a solution, to the parties this dispute whatever it involves has been a burden, an unnecessary stress which has plagued them for months even years, had a drain on their finances, eaten up their time and put unwanted pressure on their personal life and relationships. To see the relief on their faces, and that they can finally move on with their life is priceless, especially when you know you have helped to achieve that.
Quite often I get asked what skills are required to become a mediator, well several I answer, however the key ones are good communication to include listening skills, interpersonal skills as well as patience and empathy amongst others.
How to become a mediator will be covered in a forth coming article.