The Sirens of Directiveness

In December 2019 an interesting conversation took place at one of the AMT (the Italian association of transformative mediators) “5 o’clock Tea Break” series events.

What’s ‘Directiveness’ in mediation?, and why to talk about Sirens? Put it simple, a directive mediator is a neutral who tends to impose his/her own agenda to clients. All for good, of course. The fact is that, by doing so, s/he derails from the track of paying respect to the principle of self-determination and ultimately – at least in my view – undermine his/her clients’ sense of agency. Many practising mediators are directive: the temptations of directing conflicting parties towards a safe harbour is extremely strong and appealing (hence the idea of Ulysses’ sirens). But there are some countermeasures one may adopt.

Here’s the record of the video chat. It was held in English and Italian, and attended by some of the AMT associates, with the participation of Carol Bloom, Dan Simon and me – members of the ISCT BoD.

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