I recently read Oliver Ross’s article entitled “Divorce Mediation: A Prototype for Positive Co-Parenting” on Mediate.com’s website. The article highlights the good things mediators do to model effective communication skills that parents can use during, and after, their divorce to improve their ability to co-parent effectively. Those skills include:
- Listening without interrupting,
- Summarizing and paraphrasing,
- Reflecting emotions,
- Reframing hostile statements,
- Validating statements, and
- Expressing empathy.
I find it helpful during the mediation session, if the parties are discussing their communication challenges, to highlight some of these skills demonstrated and how they can diffuse tensions and increase cooperation. I might ask, “Which of these skills do you think you might be able to incorporate into your communication with each other?” This communication coaching can pay big dividends.
Mr. Ross provided a good summary of these mediator skills in his article. You can give it a read here. https://www.mediate.com/articles/rossdivorce2.cfm