From "Working with Our Reactions" (newsletter of The Center for Understanding in Conflict):
In the last three and one-half decades of working primarily as a mediator, it has come as an extraordinary revelation to discover that an understanding of my personal reactions to the people in conflict I am trying to help is not only professionally valuable, but indispensable to effective mediation. Moreover, I have learned ways of working with those reactions, particularly the strong negative responses that are part of the everyday life of anyone trying to help people who are in conflict, that are indispensable to my effectiveness. Now rather than suppressing my emotional reactions, I find myself not just allowing those reactions, but actively searching for them and using them. More than any other technique or skill that I have learned as a mediator, investigating my inner self has proved to be the most essential and effective way to help others solve their problems. Much of this, I admit, seems counter-intuitive. How can paying attention to myself, my own insides, be helpful to others, the outside world? Particularly, feelings that I am not happy to experience, such as anger, upset and fear. How could paying attention to them, be anything but a problem, if my job is to help others?
Click to read the rest.
Note: I have attended several 5-day programs, and participated in a 2-year intensive, with what is now called The Center for Understanding in Conflict. There is no training I recommend more highly. Click to see their current offerings.