You have met with the Boy, the Parents, the Head + the Chair of Governors. You have not overlooked the Common Room – the teachers need to be on board. Your efforts have been successful. The Boy feels more relaxed talking about his identity. The “Bully” pupils (boys + girls) are quiet. The Common Room is behind the Head + the Chair of Governors is in control of his Board. The Head steps up to the task, addresses the Common Room, then the School, and the prospective MP is on board.
But there are many links in the chain. Success is not always assured. Mediations can fail. Consider what could have gone wrong. The Father could have been intractable – thinking primarily of his much coveted Westminster career; the Mother, uncertain of her husband’s long term affections, could have sided with the Father + pressed for a hardline approach. The Boy, sensing a lack of support from his parents, could have become sullen + monosyllabic. The Head could have turned out to be hardline + intolerant. The Common Room could have been split with the Deputy Head, sensing a personal career advantage, opposing the Head – and the Board of Governors could have been at odds with the Chair.
To every problem there are solutions. They depend on the skill + understanding of the Mediator and his/her ability to work through them one-by-one focusing, always, on his/her long term strategy. A cliche, I accept, but a Mediation is more of a Marathon than a Sprint and you, the Mediator need stamina, mental strength + a clear head.
Good Mediators are invaluable. But how do you become Good? You need character, balance, + awareness. You need to combine involvement with detachment; analysis + review with decision making + judgment. Mediation can be testing, tiring + challenging and you do not always succeed. But stick with it – it is fulfilling and it helps people to find solutions + bring a smile to their faces.
NEXT TOPIC – 2 SEPTEMBER 2021 – ARBITRATION
S 34 (2) (g) OF 1996 ARBITRATION ACT
WHETHER TO “ASCERTAIN” OR TO “STAY SILENT”?