Mediators don’t make deals. They focus on dialogue.
Mediators are human beings. Not supernatural or equipped with super powers. They make mistakes and certainly thrive when successful in reaching an agreement.
Yet, it is NOT about the mediator. It is about the parties and the type of agreement, deal, or common ground that THEY want to reach. This applies to all levels and areas where one can find mediation at play: The business and commercial environment, the international relations arena, the peace building world, and the human interaction. But the mediator does not make any deals.
Where a mediator succeeds is when he is able to play all the roles at different stages and at the right time that he/she is allowed to play when it comes to regulating a new dimension of communication between conflicting interests and seemingly incompatible goals. He has to use all his/her talents, knowledge, skills, and ideas, with a good portion of political acumen, proficient resource mobilization (human and financial), and cross-cultural competence (incl. communication and public diplomacy) to render, to transform the unthinkable possible.
Mediators grow and learn from failures, from being mindful, from being curious and passionate about humans. They are go-betweens and interlocutors, driven by hope, intrigue and passionate dedication to a mission. They don’t do this alone but with the support of their friends, families, supporters and rooted in humanity.
As such, mediators are complex and multi-faceted personalities. Sometimes they can serve as role models, often times they lead as mentors, and at all times they are accomplished personalities, constantly thriving for more.
Time to reflect…