MEDIATION AS AN ART:
WHAT DAVINCI AND THE MASTER MEDIATOR HAVE IN COMMON By Ana Sambold
Leonardo di ser Piero da Davinci, more commonly known as Davinci was not only one of the greatest painters of all time. He was a brilliant philosopher, mathematician, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, engineer, geologist, astronomer, botanist, writer, historian, poet, cartographer, and inventor. Davinci was the prime exemplar of the “Renaissance Man” or “Universal Genius”.
He was a man with remarkable talents who displayed infinite grace in everything that he did and who cultivated his genius so brilliantly that all problems he studied he solved with ease. What was his secret?
Among the multiple qualities that make Davinci’s work unique and extraordinary were his unquenchable curiosity, his feverishly inventive imagination, and the innovative techniques he used to depict everything he learned from his continual and detailed observations of the world. Davinci performed countless investigations into not only anatomy but also the way in which humans register emotion in expression and gesture.
For instance, in his most famous painted work, the Mona Lisa or “la Gioconda”, Davinci skillfully depicts an elusive smiling woman. The fame of this portrait, arguably the most famous painting in the world, rests not only on the perfect symmetry and the sheer equilibrium of the work but on how Davinci was able to adopt his observations and transformed them into masterful representations.
By the same token, a Master Mediator is a multitalented and forward thinking person. She artfully leads, coaches, and
communicates. He is always alert, curious, and pays close attention to every surrounding detail. She reads facial expressions, gestures, cues and unspoken words. He learns from his observations to properly adapt to the circumstances. She is prepared for the unexpected, is adaptable and open-minded. He understands that there is no single right way to mediate. She must be flexible and aware that her performance needs to continuously evolve depending upon the type of case, the people’s stories, the needs, and the personalities involved. The dynamics of the process will determine if he needs, in a given moment, to be more facilitative, transformative or evaluative, or perhaps a combination of them all. She skillfully keeps the conversation moving forward. He must be creative and thinking so far “outside of the box” that he doesn’t even see a box.
After all, there is a whole art in mediating.