Guided Dialogue Helps
I just read a piece on the website of KPCC entitled LAPD mediation program for residents and cops creates better understanding – when they show up.
The article was striking for two points made by the author:
1. “Most of the time, either the officer or resident had no interest in meeting with each other.”
2. “But when the angry resident meets with the man or woman who wears a badge, mediation appears to work.”
In the mediations I conduct, I often say that my role is not to decide who is right and who is wrong in the dispute; rather, my role is to help manage a conversation in which the participants help themselves to make an informed decision as to a resolution once they understand more about themselves, each other, the predicaments they face, and possible solutions.
It is amazing what can happen when both sides, with the help of a mediator, listen to one another and engage in a nonjudgmental dialogue, directly or indirectly, that helps them understand one another better.
The author of the KPCC piece said as much:
Of 185 survey responses, 155 participants were either satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the process, according to the LAPD report. And two-thirds of the officers and residents who participated said their understanding of the other party increased after mediation. [Emphasis added.]
David I. Karp is a full time independent mediator of real estate and business disputes in Southern California. His website is at http://karpmediation.com .