Calls kept coming in to the Ohio Employees’ EAP program. Some calls came from a supervisor who was having trouble dealing with an employee. Some came from an employee who was having trouble with a supervisor. Sometimes it was co-workers who were in conflict with each other. Regardless of whom the conflict involved, the EAP was underequipped to help.
For many who study transformative mediation, it’s hard to focus on clients’ interaction (which, as discussed in Part I, is characterized by a sense of weakness and self-absorption in relation to each other)- we’re so accustomed to thinking ahead to possible solutions to their problem. So transformative mediation trainings give participants opportunities to experience empowerment and recognition shifts themselves.
I estimate it took me 5 years of trying until I fully embraced the transformative perspective. I had started out mediating by assuming my job was to uncover underlying interests, then help both sides figure out how to get as much of what they wanted as possible, and help them accept that they couldn’t get everything they wanted.