Strong Foundations: Becoming the mediator you were meant to be.

September 30, 2022

Illustrated hand lifting a dumb weight

Are you the type of person others come to when they need help? Maybe it’s your self-control or can-do attitude; whatever the reason, people tend to see you as an ally when things get tough. Whether it’s shovelling a driveway for your aging father-in-law or stepping in as a mediator in a tough family situation, how can you bolster yourself to show up for people in the best way you can?

Best intentions aren’t always quite enough. Wanting to help shovel the driveway is one thing, but if you’ve been spending the past six months on becoming one with the sofa, it’ll probably be a little tough to get the job done. The same goes when stepping into the middle of an emotionally charged conflict – without proper training, you’re heading into a volatile situation for which you might not be adequately prepared. There is a certain prerequisite of tending to things in your own life so that you are actually able to step up and help others.

Want to be able to help your aging father-in-law shovel his driveway? Then you’d better keep both your tools and yourself in tip-top physical shape.

Want to be a good mediator between people who are at odds? Then it’s time to get serious about how to become one, so that your actions offer help rather than make the situation worse.

Hats with different labels: friend, boss, child, parent, mediator

Through our relationships, we get the opportunity to try and play our part in the best way that we can. In this way, our actions can affect real and tangible change within our circle of influence. We can wear many hats in life: parent, child, neighbour, friend, boss, colleague, mediator…each one has a different context amidst those we’re intertwined with.

In an ideal world, we learn how to be better in each of our roles as time goes by – from both first-hand experience and shared wisdom from others that have learned a thing or two in walking a parallel path. It’s not always linear progress – we all make mistakes! – but with a bit of effort, we do get better with age.

Formalizing mediation

Wherever relationships exist, so does conflict (remember: accepting conflict as a natural part of life helps us work better with it) and thus the need for mediation. In fact, mediation is happening between us informally all of the time – diffusing tensions between family members, maintaining a safe work environment, or going through the checkout at the supermarket. Sometimes there is a need for formality: a safe space for everyone involved in order to work things out.

Over the past 40+ years, we’ve developed rigorous standards and processes here at Mediation Services that serve as a proven structure for mediating conflict. Our training program offers these proven tools and strategies to the community (including you!).

Our training initiative has grown into a vibrant program recognized for its high-quality peacemaking and conflict resolution teachings on local, national, and international scales.

Get certified with us

If you do decide to become a third-party mediator, you have our full support! Check our calendar for the next certification program. We are also proud to offer certificates for Conflict Management and Leadership Development Skills.

When others come to us for help, we all want to be there for them. The question becomes: how can we do so skillfully and with our best foot forward?

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