The framework of Mediators without Borders is explained here by our President, Shauna Ries, “Every time I mediate a new dispute, regardless of the context, I am in awe at how conflicts that seem very similar often resolve themselves in surprisingly different ways. Reflecting on this, I have created the new inAccord Conflict Analysis Model, in collaboration with research professor Dr. Susan Harter. These survey instruments are designed to track the efficacy of our work in the field of conflict resolution. This Model encourages the Mediator to practice transparency in process, while informing and empowering the parties to the dispute, creates a sense of ‘we are in this together’. The inAccord Model is a facilitative approach, which allows the Mediator to draw from both evaluative and transformative approaches, based on the match or mis-match of empowered feelings each party to a dispute feels.
InAccord engages the disputants and their core assumptions about the world. Some disputants may believe they are empowered when they come to the table, while others bring a marked feeling of disempowerment. Disputant empowerment and Mediator and Disputant transparency is where we must focus our efforts as we help couples, companies, and countries resolve conflicts. This sets up a dynamic where ‘all boats rise’.
Mediation is a profession. It is who I profess to be. I am a Mediator. This profession calls each of us to integrate and align our thoughts, feelings, and actions. This work is, at its root, true integrity; integration. My best friend, who is a Sikh, gifted me with a Kara. It is a silver bracelet that represents infinity. I wear this around my wrist on my left hand. This serves as a metaphorical reminder that before one will raise their hand to do battle; make sure it is a righteous fight. I think of this metaphor before working with parties in a dispute. It is this type of mindfulness one must evoke when we take on a mediation case. The metaphorical “battle” is to mindfully guide the disputants through the inAccord Conflict Analysis Model and encourage transparency and empowerment. The model opens both the disputants and Mediator to ever increasing integrity and integration. This congruency is at the heart of our vision of sustainable peace and our mission to provide conflict resolution solutions to couples, companies, and countries.”
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