Balance

Mediation- A Helping Hand

This wonderful book from Liv Larsson paints mediation as a way to help people connect – to recognise and acknowledge each other’s needs. Larsson, an international mediator/trainer uses Non Violent Communication skills and strategies, from Marshal Rosenberg as the basis of her mediation approach. Helping people create new ways to cooperate is her passion.  

I bought this book after hearing Liv Larsson’s  keynote address at the National Mediation Conference in September. She challenges some of the ‘rules’ of mediation – suggesting that the mediator should interrupt a client if the mediator thinks that the other party may not be ready to hear what they are saying. Mediation is not about reaching an agreement, the parties will be able to do this if they can feel connected in some way. She works to ‘awaken’ a willingness to contribute to reconciliation and problem solving. This is achieved by focusing on needs and feelings firstly which connects those in dispute with each other’s humanity – their connection.

The book has exercises and practical examples of questions and techniques. Larsson suggests that we all should  mediate  when we see an opportunity to help people connect, even if not invited, with family & friends. She quotes Martin Luther King “ The big tragedy is not the brutality of the evil people. The big tragedy is the good people’s silence”  So whether you work as a mediator or want to be able to help others sort things out if the time arises,  I hope this book inspires you as it did me.

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