Mediation and Trust/Martin Rosenfeld,JD

Posted on October 9, 2016


A Finnish politician and international mediator, Martii Ahtisaari,  once said that the selection of the mediator is premised on the trust displayed and exhibited by the parties to the dispute. Rarely, is mediation a legal exercise ordered by the legal process. It is rather, usually, the result of a decision made voluntarily by the parties themselves. It is hard to build trust and quite easy to break it.

The political commentators have had a field day with misogynistic comments made by Donald Trump about women. Perhaps the most correct assessment has been this; Mr. Trump has once again let down the very supporters who have trusted him and believed he could be presidential material. In fact he brought embarrassment once again to his allies and to his political Party. Trust is a scarce commodity. If you get it, treasure the influence that you potentially possess. View trust as a challenge and not as an absolute right. Mediators by-and-large know that the good they aim to deliver goes hand-in-hand with trust. It may be too late for Mr. Trump to learn this lesson. Sadly, we have not fully seen the destructive outcome of such a misjudgment.

Trust makes the mediation process work. Mediate don’t litigate.