What can a mediator do?

The qualities of a good mediator can be summarized in four words. He is knowledgeable, neutral, businesslike, and decisive.

  • Expert mediator

A mediator can ‘read’ a conflict. He is a professional communicator who knows how to act in every stage of a conflict. He has built a solid theoretical foundation and coupled it with his practical experience. The mediator acts in accordance with the Regulations and the Code of Conduct of the MfN, the Mediators Federation Netherlands, formerly known as the Dutch Mediation Institute. And he has sufficient knowledge of the legal aspects of mediation as a method, as well as the specific legal context within which a conflict occurs.

  • Neutral mediator

Neutrality is a mindset, an intrinsic inner attitude, and an absolute prerequisite for gaining and maintaining trust. A good mediator has learned what to do with their own neutrality tests. Even with people who usually push his ‘red button’.

  • Balance of the mediator

The mediator may have to deal with highly emotional situations and disclosures. It is an art to balance between staying businesslike and responding empathetically. Establishing a constructive working relationship with clients is necessary. However, both less and more than that is not appropriate and undesirable.

  • Decisive mediator

That doesn’t mean the mediator rushes his clients to a solution. It means that the successful mediator is responsible for maintaining momentum in the mediation process. Of course, clients need space for their emotions and their story. But as much as necessary. Not more and not less. In the end, it’s about making clear and achievable agreements.

How and where can he/she apply what has been learned?

The mediator does not necessarily have to complete the entire training and build a practice as an MfN registered mediator* to benefit from their education. Often, we hear from a large part of our student groups that they consider the Mediation Training as acquiring an additional skill to practice their basic profession more effectively. This group is very diverse. The group includes HR professionals, consultants, team leaders, social workers, coaches, managers, etc. Finally, the home front can also benefit from the newly acquired skills. At the end of his training, a student could bring this statement to the evaluation: ‘A huge thank you for the fantastic training, … also on behalf of my wife.’

* This title has replaced what was known as a few years ago as NMI certified mediator. The current title may in turn change to legally registered mediator after the implementation of mediation legislation.