Jenny Besch

Prior to becoming a mediator, I spent 25 years in the theater, television, and movies, first as an actress then in management. Though many have thought this was a strange transition, for me it made perfect sense, because it is all about the story. I see conflict as a clash of stories, and my goal as a mediator is to help people tell their story and hear that of the person with whom they are in conflict. We are all the stars of our own movies and the hope, of course, is that through this process people in conflict can begin to view the other in a three dimensional manner — so that they may work their way to a peaceful and sustainable resolution. Mediation is a skill-building process for the participants. More often than not, people come out of the mediation process with a greater understanding of themselves and others and, hopefully, have a broader more effective view of conflict going forward. Why mediation? I suppose it is rooted in my belief in people; a challenging notion given the state of the world. However, I do think people have the capacity to do better, improve their communication and build healthier communities. Effective conflict resolution, such as mediation, is a portal into those goals. Mediation is by no means the ultimate form of conflict resolution. The underpinnings of this work, the ethos behind it, are shared by many others, particularly effective negotiators. Henry Ford said, “If there is any one secret to success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that angle as well as from your own.”