[Advice] Caucusing Arete

Caucusing in a mediation happens when a mediator takes each party aside and talks to them privately about issues and concerns that the other party may not be open to hearing.

  • In a divorce mediation, it could be about issues of infidelity, emotional abuse or unresolved anger.
  • In an organizational mediation, it could be about issues of pay structure, proprietary information, or that there’s a personal problem with the other party.
  • In a church mediation, it could be a about an interpretation of Scripture or a moment of clarity.
No matter what it is, however, the phrase heard most often within a caucus is “I don’t want [insert name of party here] to know this, but…”
A mediator’s virtue then shows, because she has a choice about addressing the opposite party with a concern that could tip the mediation one way—or another.
Arête is the Greek word for the idea of living up to your potential with excellence. And when a mediator navigates a caucus with arête, it can make all the difference.
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com

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