Mediators come to the table looking for a shift in perspective by the parties. They’re not going to say that up front, maybe not at all. But that is the secret sauce of mediation…giving the parties enough space and time to be heard, and to listen, to create an opening for new perspectives and new solutions to take hold. When I run workshops on how mediation works I like to use the dilemma of whether we should take away Mom’s car keys to illustrate the possibilities. Mom’s car has a few unexplained dents and Mom’s not saying anything about it. Adult siblings are starting to get concerned but don’t agree on what to do next so they’ve decided to try mediation. Brother thinks it’s time for Mom to stop driving…she is over 90 afterall. Sister doesn’t want to have to chauffeur Mom around and is worried that she’ll become too isolated so she takes the position that as long as no one’s been hurt and there are no police reports about her driving they should just leave well enough alone. Next week we’ll look at what mediation might offer to these two opposing positions.