Reflecting at APFM


I just returned from presenting "Mediation Mastery" at the Academy for Professional Family Mediators international conference in Denver, Colorado. The focus of the presentation was the importance of reflective practice--taking time while mediating and especially after to consider the positive and potentially negative impact of our presence and interventions for our clients. I was fortunate to have a group of bright, dedicated family and divorce mediators in attendance who were willing to dive in and take this topic to heart. Asked to reflect on a recent, difficult case attendees shared their insights including needing to be emboldened to terminate a case, slowing down the process to set a pace which allows feelings and content to be processed, and being reminded of the value of debriefing in a formal way.

As you practice conflict resolution, I encourage you to take some time after a meeting and reflect on the following:

What was happening for your clients during the session?

What was happening physically and emotionally for you?

What did you observe during the session?

Did the interventions you selected relate to your observations?

What do you think was the source of the client's actions and reactions?

If you are willing to share your insights, you can help us all grow as professionals!

To read more on this important topic, check out Schon, Argyris, Lang, Taylor, and others.