When one is involved in a conflict, it is an opportunity to discover oneself. Questions such as: “Who do I want to be?” and “What assumptions am I making about what I want to do or what will make me happy or what comports with my values or my morality?” can yield answers that not only have an impact on the direction of one’s entire life but on the conflict at hand.
One of the functions that a mediator can serve, is to ask parties to self-reflect on these issues. How the mediator can do this, non-judgmentally, and in a way that is respectful of the privacy and self-determination of the parties is a skill-set. It can be done, however, and when it is done well and when the parties take the opportunity to self-explore, it can be a meaningful and productive experience for all.