Emotion as Mediators Analytical Tool and Hurdle Essay Emotion is often associated with feeling expressed in any situation at any given time an individual may encounter. â€œIn psychology it signifies a reaction involving certain physiological changes, such as an accelerated or retarded pulse rate, the diminished or increased activities of certain glands, or a change in body temperature, which stimulate the individual, or some component part of his or her body, to further activityâ€ (MicrosoftÂ® EncartaÂ®, 2007). It is very peculiar for a person not to show any reaction to circumstances especially when provoked by another person he is in conflict with. In this light, the role of a mediator is very important in bridging the gap between parties in conflict to find a common ground that possibly move toward a resolution. This paper will discuss the vital role of emotion in conflicts. Considering that emotion is the center of creation and nature of conflict, the probability of managing conflicts may be influenced by emotion as well. The book Meditating Dangerously tells that â€œThe ostensible purpose of mediation is to ameliorate danger, pacify hurt feelings, and create safe spaces within which dialogue can replace debate, where interest-based negotiation can substitute for a struggle for powerâ€ (p. 3). A challenge is laid on my table, to be able to answer how much emotion can only surface to make any progress in the case? How does a mediator controls his emotion over the case? Background of the study It was on 11th of April, 2008 when I first went solo as a mediator. Prior to my case was my friend Diego working on his case between a tenant demanding from her landlord. It was a messy case, but the point to me was how hard it was to manage the raucous lady. She kept screaming and interrupting the landlord and the mediator with her suffered pain with her grievance. It was to the point where we had a security coming in from other room to tell us to calm things down because there was a trial going in our adjacent room. Still she did not cooperate. Having to observe Diego went through a very hard time over his case with the uncontrollable lady and her landlord, the sense of trepidation that I felt had challenged me. I needed to manage my own case without having to go through the same traumatic experience. When my turn came, I had to face five ladies â€“ three plaintiffs and two defendants. I laid out the general rule of explaining mediation as a voluntary process and the bound to confidentiality, etc. I wanted to make sure that my case will not go mishandled. Also, I wanted to assure myself and the parties involved that we are there to solve not a screaming spar like the previous case. During the debriefing with Professor Joshua Jack, he asked why did I say â€˜respectâ€™ and â€˜no yellingâ€™? By laying the ground rules in the beginning, did I hinder the partiesâ€™ true feelings to come out? Professor Jack gave further comments on my case: â€œParties in conflict very often come into the mediation with strong senses of victimization, self righteousness, mistrust, and other negative judgments of one another. If a person thinks that the other is a liar and cheater both in this situation and generally, can they express this honest perspective and still be within the bounds of our rule? It is my view that, if we have any hope of facilitating any real transformation, we have to allow parties to express their true, even if ugly, perspectives. â€ If we tell people to be nice, they will sometimes accommodate us, but by squelching the expression of the true depth and magnitude of their experience and perception, we also squelch the potential for real transformation and resolution. â€ According to Bowling and Hoffman (2003), â€œThe most direct and obvious impact that the mediator has on the mediation process comes from the techniques he or she uses to influence the course of negotiations. These interventions, based on the mediatorâ€™s assessment of the obstacles to settlement, might involve giving the parties an opportunity to vent emotional reactions to the dispute, encouraging the parties to focus on interests rather than positions, or helping the parties generate options for settlementâ€ (p. 19). With all due respect to Professor Jack, I know he is a great and experienced mediator. However, as a new mediator, the first thing I want to do is to make sure I have the case in control with confidence. By saying respect, I gave the parties the notion that we are to discuss the dispute, and find a solution as educated people. With the said experience, Professor Jeanne Cleary gave her comments as well: â€œTricky issue, how much control to start out with, based on past experience and with the understanding that the folks in front of you are new and not the past case. You will find your balanced style with this â€“ between too much control that may stifle whatâ€™s really going on for them (which will most always include feelings) and too little control (which will be unproductive for folks to hear each other). Keep at developing your sense of that balance as you continue. â€ Emotional Intelligence as a Tool for Mediators It is not as strange as it may sound to mindfully express emotion with dignity still intact. Emotional intelligence, defined by Salovey and Mayer (1990) in their Ability Model as â€œthe ability to identify, use, understand, and manage emotionsâ€ is very helpful for a mediator in handling mediation between two clashing parties to surface the emotion and be adept at bringing out the feelings from the parties while remaining impartial. Caruso and Salovey (2004) expounded this model as four key emotional skills in Table 1. In this manner, Golemanâ€™s (1998) (as cited in Johnson, Levine, and Richard, 2003) definition of emotional intelligence (EQ) â€œas the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationshipsâ€ (p. 317) was able to strengthen the argument of emotional intelligence as a tool for mediators. According to Johnson et al. (2003), â€œAllowing emotion to emerge in a mediation, however requires a mediator with a high degree of emotional intelligence â€¦ improving oneâ€™s emotional intelligence is an essential development path for mediators. As EQ improves, a mediator becomes more comfortable with his or her ability to manage an emotional process successfullyâ€ (p. 155). Johnson et al. (2003) were also sharp by saying the essence of developing emotional intelligence because â€œAbsent the ability to deal with emotions, the true power of mediation is lost. Absent the ability to create space for parties to express difficult emotions, it is unlikely that any resolution reached will lastâ€ (p. 164).
Should We Balance National Debt? The national debt is a problem that the entire country has to deal with. The questions is whether or not to balance it? Morally the answer is yes. We should not leave this burden for our children to solve. If the deficit was balanced then this country would have more money to spend on other programs such as welfare or medicare. Fifteen percent of national spending is used to pay for the current deficit. With another 15% of our budget to spend on tax-cuts or other issues this could cause an economic boom. Some say that balancing the budget is not the right thing to do. It is said that by balancing the budget at the end of the fiscal year would cause the government to raise taxes therefore slowing down the economy. Some also say that we should not balance the budget because none of the countries that have paid for the bonds will never collect the money owed. They will just let the bonds collect interest therefore we are not responsible to pay back the money. This relies on that the bond holders never collect which we do not know for sure if they won't. We need to be prepared so if the bond holders do collect we can fullfill our end of the deal and pay the money we owe. To balance the budget will take years to accomplish and a little better handling of money than we currently doing. Since the Cold War is over we no lomger need to be spending as much money on defense as we have