Hong Kong mediator, lawyer and poet, TK Iu, was introduced to readers by fellow blogger Joel Lee earlier this year. TK’s first published poetic piece on mediation was entitled, ‘A Mediator’s Prayer’, inspired by the Peace Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. If you missed it, it’s well worth the read. In just a few lines, ‘A Mediator’s Prayer’ prompts mediators to reflect on why we do what we do – both in the mediation room and beyond.
TK’s most recent piece is entitled ‘SETTLEMENT’. I have taken the liberty to set it out here for readers. As I read its lines again, I can’t help thinking what a creative tool this would be for mediator training. There’s loads of studies that show the utility of mneumonics, lyrics and poetry in learning.
Imagine newly minted mediators being able to recall the lines of SETTLEMENT when they find themselves stuck, not knowing what to do next in their first mediation.
Imagine trainee mediators about to undertake their role play assessments, reciting the lines of SETTLEMENT as a tool to calm nerves and focus them on the task at hand.
Well, you might say I’m a dreamer….
But then again, have a read for yourself.
SETTLEMENT: A Mediator’s Prayer
Thank you for allowing me to be a humble mediator and serving the public by way of mediation services.
As a mediator, I shall:-
Set the scene for the negotiation
Engage the parties
Take note of their needs, concerns and fears
Take note of the common ground
Listen passively and actively
Empathize with the parties
Manage negative emotions positively
Empower the parties
Nudge but not push
Take note that it is an assignment from God, it is the parties’ dispute, the parties’ negotiation and their decision on the way forward.