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Mediation Skills and the Conflict in Chad

Mediation Skills and the Conflict in Chad

How is mediation similar to the work you have done in Chad?



Full Transcript

I think that’s very similar to the mediation process. You come as a unbiased, impartial third-party, and the sustainability of an agreement depends on your ability to not give advice, to not direct the process, to not shape it in the fashion you think it should go.


The first thing that I realised was that I’m not Chadian, I have no sense of their history. I can learn it by books and reports, but I cannot grasp the essence of being Chadian and what that meant in that complex environment, and I cannot grasp the solutions that are within your reach, and that make sense for new environments.


I think, at the mediation table, it’s the exact same thing. I meet folks for a couple hours a day, maybe a few sessions, but, at the end of the day, I don’t know much more about them. I don’t know the history. I don’t know their problems. I don’t know their successes. I don’t know what they fought in the past. There’s so much in a’s person’s psychological makeup, behavioural makeup and social makeup, that I just cannot grasp. So, for me to say that I could give you advice on how to resolve your conflict, I think, is a little presumptuous.


What I love about the mediation process is that it’s entirely participant-driven, so that I’m facilitating a problem-solving process, but the content is entirely that of the participants. So, at the end of the day, the agreement becomes what they have forged, what is realistic for their situation, and not what I’m judging about their situation. So, that’s same approach that I used for Chad.

About the mediator

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Nathalie is the founder of Communities in Transition (CIT) and currently works as CIT’s Senior Mediator and International Conflict Management Consultant. She is an internationally recognized change leader with over 18 years of experience in the field of Conflict Management. Nathalie has mediated conflicts ranging from workplace, family, and community disputes, as well as the re-entry of prisoners back into society. Nathalie graduated from J... View Mediator