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A Mediator’s Prayer—Reminders of the Important Role You Play

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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In “A Mediator’s Prayer”, inspired by the “Peace Prayer” of St. Francis of Assisi, Mr. Ting-Kwok, its author, writes:


Disputants, make me the instrument of your negotiation,

Where there is conflict, let me mediate;

Where there is difference, mediate;

Where there is contradiction, mediate;

Where there is discord, mediate;

Where there is litigation, mediate;


As a mediator, I assist to reframe rather than to repeat,

To communicate rather than to adjudicate,

To facilitate rather than to evaluate,

To summarize rather than to advise,

To generate options rather than to provide solutions,

To reality-test rather than to protest.


It is in letting go that we move on;

It is in wearing the shoes of your foe that we empathize;

It is in accommodating our adversary that we satisfy our own claims;

It is in striving for a settlement that we find peace.


While this prayer, as a whole, is an important reminder of the work that we do as mediators, the last stanza—“it is in letting go that we move on”—is one of the hardest lessons to learn, both for your clients and for you.  However, as with most things in life, the most difficult struggles often produce the greatest joys.  In fact, this lesson of “letting go” is quite possibly one of the most important roles of a mediator: reminding your clients that letting go is a vital and important step in the process of resolving conflict and reaching a resolution. 


When we ask a client to “let go,” we are inviting him or her to release the emotional baggage associated with the conflict.  We are suggesting that releasing a staunchly held viewpoint can be the first step to finding resolution in a situation that has been long overdue for one.  It is in this gentle suggestion of “letting go” that we are able to help the client see the conflict from the other party’s point-of-view, and replace selfishness with empathy, a narrow viewpoint with the big picture

Submitted By:

Alan Scott
Sturart, FL

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