Essay: Building Rapport in the Mediation Process

15 Oct

Essay: Building Rapport in the Mediation Process

Sample Essay

Building rapport is significant in the mediation process and it is the mediator’s responsibility as it is observed by the Center for Restorative Justice and Umbreit (2001, p.9). It is only in the presence of trust and rapport that parties will manage to practice productive mediation. This task calls for the mediator to have specific interpersonal interaction skills that will allow them to appeal and gain the parties’ trust. Enhancing the ability to conduct the process effectively should be initiated at the pre-mediation phase. At first, the mediator must showcase their competencies and build their credibility in the eyes of the parties.

In order to accomplish this, mediators need to work competently and with admirable consistency. They also need to communicate openly and with accurateness while ensuring that confidentiality as well as the transparency of the process is cemented. These standards of exemplary conduct are not effective without the input of humanistic elements such as emotions. Empathy is one such emotion that serves well in the resolution of disputes. An empathetic mediator is able to not only understand both parties better but to also respond appropriately to the parties’ actions and reactions. Indeed as asserted by Umbreit (2007), empathy builds humanistic mediation that insists on the common care for all involved. However, empathy needs to be impartial and not aligned to either party and this should be clear to the mediator right from the start. Empathy also assists mediators in building trust with the involved parties. After establishing credibility, the mediator should also develop and foster strong skills that are critical in conflict resolution. They should nurture skills such as active listening, correct rephrasing and describing of discussed issues. In addition, they must be creative and able to envision a roadmap to establishing peace.

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