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Keeping an Open Mind as a Mediator

Keeping an Open Mind as a Mediator

How does keeping an open mind help in mediation?



Full Transcript

Well, I think what he’s virtually saying is we have to be fresh. We have to create the law. So, if I’m a lawyer, I studied law. But every client I meet, I have to create the law fresh each moment of the day. Social scientists are the same and I believe mediators are the same.


So, in a sense, we do need to read the case notes. We need to look at the pleadings and so on and we have to draw on our experience of years of mediation to be totally present for these particular parties on this particular day. So, we really, in a sense, have to overcome all that we’ve learned, to be present. That doesn’t mean we forget it. But what we do is we park it in the very backward area there and we allow the new to come in.


What I think we tend to do is, because of our desire to solve the problems is we tend to sort of call on all our knowledge and our reading of the pleadings to try and hunt that problem out. So, what we’re actually doing is working on what we already know. Of course, what we already know is one party says black and one party says white. We immediately hit a snag there. I think if we look at it from the fact of what we don’t know, then really allow us to clear the decks. It’s like feng shui. They say what you’ve got to do to bring new things in is clean the clutter out of your house. It’s the same principle. You clean the clutter out of your head and you remain fresh.

About the mediator

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Greg Rooney has been a practising mediator in Australia since 1991. Greg has mediated more than 1,500 disputes in a diverse range of conflicts including multi-party disputes involving government institutions, commercial and industrial disputes, agricultural disputes, franchise disputes, matrimonial disputes and disputes involving conflict in the workplace. For the last eight years Greg has mediated over 150 face-to-face mediations between religio... View Mediator