One way that we mediators sometimes describe ourselves is as professional communicators. We are skilled at listening deeply, speaking clearly and helping people in conflict form a communication bridge. How is it, then, that we can sometimes be so inept in our own conversations, even when we are not in conflict?
Take, as an example, my recent conversation with a helpful Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) employee. The CTA is in the process of changing from its old system for paying fares. I had lost my card for the new system, so I was buying individual-ride tickets. The helpful CTA guy told me I shouldn’t buy those tickets; I should buy transit cards because they were less expensive.