Yesterday, I spoke with someone who was interested in receiving mediation services from me until he learned that I charge $200 per hour. Suddenly, he wasn't so interested in me anymore. In fact, he wanted to know if I could refer him to a cheaper mediator.
Look, I understand the value of a dollar.
I also know from having been a litigator before I was a mediator that people are more likely to pay an attorney to advocate for them and fight against another (and pay a lot of money to said attorney) than to pay a mediator for assistance in having a difficult conversation.
We like to think that we can solve our own problems. We like to think that we can navigate conflict on our own. We can a lot of the time. Then, there are the times that we wait too long, that the conflict gets too big, and suddenly (although it wasn't sudden at all, if you look back on it) there is a lawsuit and everyone needs lawyers.
You can certainly hire me to mediate at that point. However, it may be cost-effective to hire me proactively, long before it gets to that point.
I charge $200 per hour for mediation services. What do you get for your money?
You get someone who has mediated over 1,000 times since she trained as a mediator in 2004 and 2005. That means that I have sat with over 2,000 people in conflict and have helped them to have a difficult conversation. Not many people can say that.
I have seen conflict of almost all shapes and sizes. There is little that happens in mediation that surprises me anymore. You have to do something really big, really outrageous (and please, don't).
I am comfortable sitting in conflict. I can help you to be comfortable, or at least less uncomfortable, moving through your conflict.
Is it helpful that I know the law in two states? Yes. However, what is more helpful is that I know people. I listen to not just what you are saying, but who you are. I listen and learn from you, getting to know you on a deeper level so that I can best help you to navigate the conflict successfully.
Other people may offer you their standard, cookie-cutter advice. "You just need to do this." And whatever "this" is, it is what they would do in that scenario and it is the same advice that they give to everyone because they do it themselves and it feels comfortable to them.
I support you in your figuring out what is best for you to do in your situation. You are the one who is going to have to live it, long after I am gone.
In life, as in mediation with me, you get to decide what works best for you. Do you want an experienced mediator who looks to meet you where you are? Do you want to feel supported and empowered during the conflict? If so, then let's talk. I could be the right mediator for you.