March 29, 2012

Rebel with a Cause

What motivates an individual to step boldly into rooms full of angst, pain, and vitriol, with eyes and mind wide-open? What drives a person to move toward conflict with nothing more than pen in hand? In short, what motivates a community mediator?

With 20,000 exceptionally trained volunteer mediators helping nearly a million individuals each year, motivations likely abound. Personal challenge, professional development, restorative aims, adrenaline highs, and more gird the urge to sit twixt seething tension and icy stares. Variously motivated, community mediators draw upon their personal incitement to intervene and, thus, become their communities’ go-to problem solvers -- capable of engaging the most difficult, entrenched, and strained situations with exceptional competence, steely aplomb, and impressive results.

Take a peek at my own journey in joining the community mediation movement in the Association for Conflict Resolution's latest edition of ACResolutions (PDF). "Rebel with a Cause: The Making of a Community Mediator" is a short account of what moved me from the classroom to my community's fence-strewn front lines. It's also a good read for first-profession mediators who are not drawing upon and then diverting however subtlety or substantially from a decades-long career of legal, therapeutic, social, or any other work.

Have a read and then share your own motivations for volunteering as a community mediator in the comments below!

In community,
Executive Director, NAFCM

1 comment:

  1. I was only in search of temporary fencing brisbane when I stumbled upon your blog but being a teacher myself, your insightful take on what makes one a mediator clearly struck me. There's more to just jumping over the fence full of angst-filled individuals with only a pen in hand. I had a great time reading through those links you provided. More power to your advocacy! Cheers!