That about sums up what most people learn in mediation. They are trying to discover what they [really] want and how to ask for it [so they can get it and move on].
For instance, an out-of-town daughter, Janna, is furious at her Uncle Peter, who lives near her mom. When she visits every two or three months she sees Mom deteriorating, and she holds her uncle accountable. Janna wants to replace Peter as holder of her mother’s medical power of attorney.
At least, that’s what she thinks she wants. But what Janna really wants is to come in out of the dark. She wants to know what’s going on. She wants an opportunity to demonstrate her love for mom. She wants to be consulted when major medical decisions about mom must be made. At bottom, she wants to be assured that mom is receiving excellent care. And she’d like to be prepared if bad news is on the horizon.
If Janna can separate the person (Uncle Peter) from the problem (lack of information and feeling excluded) she will be able to ask for what she wants – voice & access – without a hint of blame. Her tone will change. And, since Uncle Peter doesn’t have to defend himself, the chances are overwhelming that he’ll agree.
We all have times when we’re at a loss to know what we want or how to ask for it. We only know the status quo isn’t working. Sometimes another person – a coach or mediator – or even a good friend – can help.
- He or she asks open questions;
- Offers a reality check of proposed solutions;
- Walks with you past what you think you want to discover your deepest desire; and
- Helps you practice how to ask for it.
Beyond Dispute Associates
© Carolyn Parr and Beyond Dispute Associates, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carolyn Parr and Beyond Dispute Associates with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.