Flexibility key to successful mediation: Romero
By Kathy Rumleski, AdvocateDaily.com Contributor
While there are different types of mediation, Toronto mediator Victoria Romero says adaptability is key to ensuring clients get the best service.
“Mediation is a self-determined process designed to give the parties the power to come up with their own solutions, and a mediator must get a sense of what each client needs,” Romero tells AdvocateDaily.com.
Romero says while the mediator’s experiences can also influence the process, it’s important to be flexible.
“Before you are a lawyer or a mediator, you are a human being — and your experience colours how you see reality, it’s unavoidable. But as a mediator, you must make an effort to not favour one kind of mediation. You must adapt yourself to the people and situation in front of you.”
She uses the principles of no harm while ensuring access to justice in all cases.
Sometimes Romero will pass a file along to another mediator if she feels that person could better serve a client, she says.
Romero says her experience as a lawyer has helped her become a better mediator.
“It gives me an extra edge to help people. In personal injury, it’s paramount to have a mastery of the subject.”
It’s also important to expand one’s skills and knowledge, Romero says.
“One of the things that drives me is that growth does not happen in your comfort zone. Once you are comfortable in an area, it’s time to challenge yourself and learn more. That’s another reason I took up family mediation. It requires a different set of skills and another way of communicating.”