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IMAGES IN MEDIATION

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  1. IMAGES IN MEDIATION The Power of the Metaphor

  2. Preview • What is a metaphor? • How do metaphors work? • Functions mediators perform • What metaphors might relate to each?

  3. What is a metaphor? • A likeness • Viewing one thing in terms of another • Graspable, can capture complexity in a word • Examples: • Mike Tyson is an ox. • The torch has been passed to. . . • We have come to Washington to cash a check. . . • Some become quite common • “I’m fed up” • “He’s on an emotional roller coaster”

  4. How do metaphors work? • Clarity, Vividness • Basic to how we think • Can set a tone for cooperation • Can separate people from the conflict • Can visualize new reality through extensions • Focus on some aspects, minimize others

  5. “O.K. Page, Where’s the Beef”

  6. 31 functions mediators might perform Metaphors that might relate to each

  7. Function: Mediators persuade parties to enter mediation • “Let’s sidestep the long arm of the law.” • “Counting on a favorable decision by the judge is, at best, a roll of the dice.”

  8. Function: Mediators explain mediation • Mediation is “a garden” • Safe • Generate new life • Mediation is “a boat in rough waters” • Mediation is “a bridge” • Used in both directions—it’s neutral • Must support those using it—it’s safe • Keeper can’t force persons to use the bridge—it’s optional

  9. Mediator may ask parties to generate their interaction rules • I want you to create a palate of rules toward each other you will follow in this mediation.”

  10. Mediator vilifies the conflict • “We want this conflict to quit pulling the rug out from under you.”

  11. Mediators explain basics of negotiation • Tell the truth • “You must speak with a straight tongue” • “No smoke screens allowed” • Make concessions • “Nothing is in concrete” • “Each must contribute pieces to this puzzle”

  12. (con’t) • Supply proof • “You need to buttress your points” • Right to caucus • “Anyone can call a time out” • Demonstrate respect for one another • “Let’s refrain from any fire-eating language”

  13. Mediators state their fairness and neutrality • “I’m on a balance beam. If I lean to one side or the other, I fall.”

  14. Mediators empower both parties • “No one is expected to throw in the towel” • No one is going to roll over dead.”

  15. Mediators urge toward an agreement • “We’re beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel.” • “I’m expecting you to hammer out an agreement.” • “Let’s turn the corner to an agreement and not look back.” • “Let’s get the fly out of the bottle.” • “What’s barring the door to a settlement?” • “Let’s see if we can get on the same page.”

  16. Digressio: Guidelines for using metaphors • Only two or three metaphors per session • Avoid war & contest metaphors • Use culturally appropriate metaphors • Use familiar metaphors • Avoid risky metaphors • Avoid mixing metaphors

  17. Mediators provide a vision • “You’re here to write some new music you can both sing to.” • “Imagine a box of worries disappearing over the horizon.”

  18. Mediators urge creative thinking • “I want both of you to think outside of the box.” • “The door is wide open to new ideas.”

  19. Mediators encourage a climate of cooperation • “Now that you are in this hole, you both need to build a ladder to climb out.”

  20. Mediators listen to each party’s story • “What’s your outlook on the situation?” • “Have you left any stone unturned?” (A. Starr) • “Jane, What’s your view of the landscape?” • “I’m beginning to get the pulse of the situation.”

  21. Mediators probe for key issues • “What’s the lightning rod in this dispute?”

  22. Mediators implore parties to be patient with the process • “In mediation, the road will have some dips, bumps and turns, but it will get us there.”

  23. Mediators compliment the parties on their cooperation • “You are painting a picture you both can admire” • “Now you’ve got your oars going in the same direction” • “I feel the ground shifting toward an agreement”

  24. Mediators recognize a pending impasse • “I’m sensing a logjam.”

  25. Mediators make suggestions to a party while in caucus • “The ball is in your court.” • “Remember, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” • “What’s below the waterline?

  26. Mediators separate issues • “Let’s hang this issue on the line for right now.” • “Let’s put this a back burner for the time being.”

  27. Your Turn! • What metaphors are you thinking of that might pertain to your work?

  28. Mediators try to frame the larger picture • “Let’s try to get your concerns into one field of vision.”

  29. Mediators facilitate face-saving • “Let’s not push each other’s backs against the wall.” [from S. Ting-Toomey]

  30. Mediators promote empathy • “John, put yourself in Mary’s shoes for a minute. How does she feel?” • Mary, put yourself in John’s shoes. . .

  31. Mediators regulate turn-taking • “Each of you will get an equal piece of the speaking pie.” • “Mary, it’s your turn a bat.”

  32. Mediators will interrupt interaction for the benefit of progress • “Excuse me, things seem to be all over the board, let me ask this. . .”

  33. Mediators conduct perception checking • “Let me see if I have a handle on your point.” • “Are you painting the picture that ____________?”

  34. Mediators regulate the emotional climate • “Let’s still the water.” [G. Pollitt]

  35. Mediators restate issues in neutrally-toned language • “Let me guide us into calmer water, you were saying __________?”

  36. Mediators seek clarity • “I’m looking at some murky water here.” • “What’s the bottom-line?”

  37. Mediators suggest trade-offs • Can you do a little horse-trading based on what we’ve discussed?” • “Paul might take _____ from the table, while James might take _______ from the table.”

  38. Mediators show respect for each of the parties • “You are both royalty for opting for mediation.”

  39. Mediators urge parties to not repeat blame statements • “Let’s not spin our wheels on this point.” • “Let’s not cycle around again on that point.” [from A. Starr] • “No need to extract a pound of flesh.”

  40. Finally, mediators articulate the agreement • “Let me write up your collective smile.” • “Let me run an iron over your ideas and come up with a statement you might agree to.”

  41. Mediators urge parties to follow up on their signed agreement • “Abide by your agreement and you’ll soon be out of the woods.” • “Abide by your agreement and you’ll clean the slate.”

  42. Again, a metaphor is: • Expressing one thing in terms of another • Adds vividness & clarity • Provides a new way of looking at something Note: Mediator should be alert to parties’ metaphors and amplify on them if helpful e.g., “I feel like I’m being punished in 3rd grade math.”

  43. SLUT “The End” in Swedish