Mediator Phronesis

Phronesis is the Greek word meaning practical, or moral, wisdom.

In a mediation scenario—where two parties are in conflict and they ask a third party to come in—phronesis serves a practical purpose.

In a caucusing situation, when the mediator takes one—or both—parties aside to talk privately about issues that matter that cannot be brought up in front of the other party, phronesis matters.

Outside of the healthcare and helping fields, core questions that revolve around the development of a person’s character are rarely discussed.

In the field of mediation, many practitioners are “seasoned citizens” and are thus able to bring the aggregate lessons learned from a lifetime of missed opportunities, failures and personal regrets.

Phronesis in a mediation—and specifically during a caucusing break—can be the difference between success and failure for a mediator.

How do you develop practical wisdom?

Well, the Ancient Greeks as well as many Christian denominations and sects, believe that the only way to develop character is by developing in the areas of:

  • Faith
  • Hope
  • Charity
  • Love
  • Temperance
  • Prudence
  • Justice

All of which can take a lifetime to develop.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
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