Leyla recently took part in an insightful three-part Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM) Town Hall exploration of the family mediator’s inner self, hosted by Michael Aurit. The conversation focused on the panel’s beliefs about foundational mediation issues, and the principles that inspire their work in a post-pandemic world.
One of the key takeaways from the panel was the role of emotions in divorce. Mediators with self-awareness are more equipped to understand the emotions of others. A mediator’s role is more than just reaching an agreement, it’s about helping spouses find a lasting resolution. More times than not, this involves giving all parties a chance to feel heard and validated, so that emotional needs are met. Compassion and empathy are vital to having an impactful resolve. . When asked about the importance of these qualities, Leyla expressed some concern when there is a lack of compassion and empathy in the mediation process.:She even stated that, “The parties could walk out with two different resolutions if they are working with two different mediators – not only different outcomes, but different attitudes about what went on in the mediation.”
Leyla’s discussion on mindfulness in mediation was perhaps the most enlightening. Practicing mindfulness in mediation means being fully present from moment to moment. Thisself-awareness and emotional intelligence can help with understanding emotions… Being mindful allows you to better guide others who are going through similar emotions.Leyla admitted that, while there are plenty of mediators out there who can reach a settlement without practicing mindfulness, being mindful as a mediator does give one an advantage. She says that mindfulness boosts the impact and effectiveness of the whole mediation process, allowing clients to “speak their truth on a deeper and a more authentic level.”
There are lots of free resources available for those who want to learn more about mindfulness. Leyla sees unlimited opportunities to practice mindfulness every day, whether undertaking mediation work or in her leisure time. Leyla closed the session with the following note, “Practicing mediation is a transformative process and opportunity for growth. The opportunity for growth is endless – and the more you practice mediation, the more you find out about the process, learn about human nature and learn about yourself.”
Balakhane Mediation is owned and operated by Leyla Balakhane, who is an experienced facilitator, consultant, trainer, and divorce mediator in Los Angeles specializing in family law mediation.
To find out more about Leyla and her company, Balakhane Mediation, you can head over the website at http://balakhanemediation.com/. If you have any inquiries, you can call (424) 235 4173 or email [email protected]