4 questions to ask yourself before becoming a divorce mediator
Becoming a divorce mediator is a noble undertaking but something that you should think carefully about as a career choice. On paper, helping disputing parties come to an agreement can sound a lot easier than it really is and any mediator will tell you that there’s more to it than simply trying to force a compromise.
A good mediator needs a diverse skillset to be effective and many mediators will have practised in other fields prior to becoming what they are today. An effective divorce mediator does not need to be dedicated solely to family law and can also specialise in other areas such as workplace dispute resolution.
If you are considering becoming a divorce mediator, it is important that you know what you are getting yourself into. Because you are dealing with a high-stakes situation in the lives of two people (and any children they have), screwing up as a mediator could end up causing a lot of distress to the people you were trying to help.
The following will examine 4 questions you should ask yourself before you elect to become a divorce mediator.
1. Do you enjoy helping others?
There’s no point trying to become a divorce mediator if you don’t have any kind of sincere passion for helping other people end their disputes. If you don’t get satisfaction from doing a good job with your clients, then you won’t be motivated to do a good job and end up being a bad mediator. The last thing you want to do is cause someone to feel even more stress than they are already dealing with from their relationship breakdown.
2. Do you enjoy problem solving?
As a mediator, you need to be someone who is a dynamic problem solver who actively listens to both sides and tries to engineer a mutually agreeable settlement. You can’t sit passively and expect each side to suggest a resolution – it’s up to you to identify a path forward where everyone else has failed (this is why you are being paid).
If you can’t identify creative settlement conditions to put complex disputes to bed, then there’s no reason for anyone to rely on you as a mediator. Make sure that you enjoy solving problems in creative ways before you decide to train as a mediator.
3. Are you a good communicator?
Of course, a divorce mediator needs to be a good communicator in order to facilitate a meaningful negotiation between disputing parties. If they can’t adequately articulate what’s going on, then there’s no hope of them helping anyone come to a new understanding that will allow a settlement to be reached.
Being a good communicator is essential in order to gain the trust of both sides and reassure them that you are not taking anyone’s side over the other. If one or both parties suspects you of bias because of your poor communication skills, then it will derail the entire mediation process.
4. Are you a patient person?
One of the most important traits you will need as a divorce mediator is patience. You will need to deal with two disputing parties who may not have rational beliefs about the situation, and it might be frustrating when a clear solution can’t be achieved because one or more parties is ignorant or uncooperative. As a professional mediator, it is your job to transcend these base feelings of frustration and irritation so that you can help parties reach the best possible settlement.
If you are considering a career in divorce mediation, make sure you ask yourself each of the above questions so you can be sure it’s the right career for you. If you require a divorce mediator, then contact O’Sullivan Mediation today.