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Why mediation is like leading an orchestra

Why mediation is like leading an orchestra

Did you know that the conductor of an orchestra is always one and a half beats ahead of the musicians? The role of the conductor is not to keep the orchestra in time but to stay a fraction in front of them, leading them, giving them the information they need in order to play. As a mediator, that’s exactly what I do. I lead the process by staying a couple of beats ahead.

Like the conductor of an orchestra, I get advance notice when there’s a change in mood, tone or emotion. For example, I may spot a gesture that could indicate someone is moving into an angry state, and as the leader I can head that off. Over a long career as a mediator, I’ve also become extremely attuned to voice and language. I can tell how people are changing in their approach from the way they speak and from how they structure their sentences. I watch and listen and lead accordingly.

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