Last time I wrote about the new TV show “Fairly Legal” inaccurately portraying mediators (or at least, this particular star of the only TV show about mediation to date) as hating lawyers and the law. The wildly atypical glamor of this mediator’s life we can chalk up to TV, but this misconception about mediation and law is damaging.
At least one other assertion in the show is off the mark: the idea that a successful mediator is someone who hates conflict. A person who hates conflict should steer clear of a career in conflict resolution: whether litigation or some form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
Mediation is all about conflict and helping the parties to the conflict find a resolution to fit their needs. Some of us have found the dynamics of conflict fascinating for decades — and that makes a career in conflict resolution a very good fit for us.