June 23, 2016

I was doing a role play at a Parenting class last night and one participant noted that I had asked my co-teacher to sit down before we started. During the role play, when he aggressively asked me why I was always late, it was less intimidating since we were in the same physical space, looking each other in the eye.

I’ve always been interested in power dynamics and think carefully about how the room should be set up when meeting with clients. Since I’m a “couch surfer”, renting or borrowing space, I’ve been known to move some furniture around. One office recently had 2 chairs for clients to sit in, one comfy low to the ground and one upright stiff chair. I borrowed a chair from another office so the clients would be in the same space.

Some mediators prefer to meet at a table so they have a physical structure between them and the clients. A table is also good if you have a lot of papers and need to spread out. Have you thought...

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