At Prism Group, one way we approach mediation differently is by focusing on conflict management rather than conflict elimination. Of course, a magic wand that eliminates conflict completely seems like the dream, but we believe a more realistic and beneficial approach is to help our clients manage their conflicts rather than try to eliminate them. In a workers’ compensation case, an injury occurs that brings about a case (conflict) and the reality is this: the injury can’t be undone. Eliminating the “problem” is not an option. A better use of time, then, is to help our clients see their case through a different lens and shift their goal from that of elimination, to management.
This is just another way we see mediation skills as life skills. Learning to seek conflict management instead of beating one’s head against the wall and wishing the problem away is a strategy that applies within every relationship in our lives: familial, social, professional, marital. Many times, in mediation and in life, we can get hung up on wishing the problem simply wouldn’t exist, and we can easily get frustrated and spin our wheels with no progress. But when we can learn to better manage the problem and continue living a fulfilled life regardless of the presence of “conflicts,” our happiness no longer hinges on living a “problem-free” life.
Just like in mediation, in life, we cannot go backwards and undo the things that cause conflicts to arise. We can, though, learn how to better navigate our lives with the presence of these conflicts and still maintain a vibrant, happy life even if there are conflicts present! Management over elimination is a mindset every mediator for Prism Group uses in every case, and we believe it’s valuable inside and outside of the mediation room.