Mediator Bias


We mediators assume that we are impartial and therefore free from bias. But we are formed by our lifetime experience which means that we have many conscious (and unconscious) biases, influenced by our culture, gender, political and religious beliefs, relationships, training, emotions and feelings..

 

There is a paper in “How to master Commercial Mediation” on Mediator Bias. Paul Gibson, an Australian mediator, wrote it and he will be leading a session on it at the

Further Advanced Mediator course in Italy (11-16 September).

paul_small

It is a fascinating subject, not least because we mediators assume that we are impartial and therefore free from bias. But we are formed by our lifetime experience which means that we have many conscious (and unconscious) biases, influenced by our culture, gender, political and religious beliefs, relationships, training, emotions and feelings (to name but a few!). So we need to be aware of them and compensate as necessary.

How do you do that? By getting honest feedback from colleagues and family (and mediation users). Even better if you are a mediator and can get a fellow mediator to do a peer review. Feedback will raise awareness and, hopefully recognition and acceptance. Once that happens, strategies for compensating the less acceptable biases can be developed.

Paul ends by saying

“What parties don’t want is the unintended consequences of mediator bias. The responsibility rests squarely with the mediator irrespective of the mediation methodology applied. As mediators, our professional reputations depend on this”.

(Dr_Pau_R_Gibson_Profile_(Gibson_ADR_2014)_, Chp 5)

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