As an Intervenor (coach or mediator or trainer)  I am expected to be impartial.  What does that mean?

Impartiality only goes as far as our assumptions about each other.  We intend to remain impartial and yet we find ourselves in situations that call for a stand on something.  We call ourselves impartial and yet we BELIEVE that what we are doing is helpful.  We say we are impartial and yet we may support the underdog in order to arrive at a FAIR agreement.  Can we be impartial?   ‘Be’ no.  ‘Act’ yes.  As interveners we can act with impartiality.  We can behave in a way that allows clients to feel that we are not taking sides, that we see the big picture and are supporting the common good.  Yet even that support of something bigger than us is partial, is it not? Because we are acting in service of the greater good, the relationship or something other than ourselves we assume ourselves to be acting impartially.  I am not convinced. True impartiality has no, repeat NO, attachment to outcome and no judgement of what a ‘good’ outcome ought to include.

Humans are partial.  They are partial to each other or to causes.  That’s what they are.  There is no escaping it.  Accepting that, we can still hold the clients in equal stead as we move toward a resolution that honours everyone and the situation as presented.  That is the most we can ask of ourselves.

Advertisements