Setting Intentions

Sometimes, clients will apologize to me for losing their temper during mediation. Obviously, there are going to be heightened feelings during a mediation, especially when we’re talking about divorce and all the things that go with that. So it’s okay and I’m used to it and ready for it and I can usually help them cool back down.

When folks are able to ground back down to a place where they can think clearly they’re better able to make solid choices for themselves. But when they can’t get their emotions to a place calm enough to keep talking sometimes they to leave. I don’t always know how it goes for them after this happens. Maybe it ended up all okay after some time to cool off. Or maybe negotiations got worse because now the other party is furious, too. I also wonder if they regret walking out and wish they had handled it differently.

This got me to thinking about intention and what differences it might make if certain intentions were set prior to mediation. I’m sure it would really help and not just in mediation but in any situation.

Want to try? Take a few minutes to think ahead about how you want to be knowing you will be more likely to have satisfactory results whether it be for your day, a conversation or a meeting, for example.

Maybe you want to be friendly or calm or a good listener. Tell yourself this is how you want to be (today, this week, or forever) and try to keep coming back to it throughout your time. We all know repetition works for learning and it works here, too. When we work on making ourselves better it takes time, commitment and repetition. Stick with it and you’ll see results.

This is particularly important when we face conflict, which can come at us without warning. We can quickly react in a negative, unhelpful way making things worse. The trick is to try and catch yourself before you react or at least react too much. It is possible when you’ve made an intention to react better, calmer, kinder and as a better listener.

And if you do lose your temper, realize it and ask yourself how you want to be (calm, a good listener, etc.). Take some deep breaths and your intention will pop back in your head. From there just keep moving forward and keep trying.