What is Cultural Sensitivity in Mediation?

A group of young adults from different cultures in a discussion in richmond va

While we are all humans, we all don’t come from the same cultural background. If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that we all have different opinions and upbringings that affect how we view the world. Being culturally sensitive is a vital part of cultivating a life that includes and involves everyone. There is no assigned value, good or bad, to the cultural similarities and differences that exist between people.

Mediation is an excellent option for those that need to work through an issue. Finding a mediator with cultural sensitivity in Richmond, VA, is vital to address the current issue and find a resolution that satisfies both parties. The unique culture that everyone brings to the table also plays a key role in the mediation process. Learn more about cultural sensitivity and why it is important to have when selecting a professional mediator.

What Cultural Sensitivity in Mediation Includes

There are many different aspects of cultural sensitivity when it comes to mediating between the two groups. Recognizing and respecting the differences between two parties is the priority for a mediator with cultural sensitivity in Richmond, VA.

Quality Service to All

No matter what mediator you choose, their goal should be to offer quality service to everyone who walks through the door. This aspect of cultural sensitivity acknowledges the differences between everyone without judgment. Anyone who seeks mediation is served precisely the same way, no matter your cultural background, creed, or color.

Justice and Equality

Cultural sensitivity also includes the overarching principle of justice and equality. Everyone is treated fairly and equally throughout the mediation process. Both parties receive the same amount of time, care, and commitment from the mediator. There are no favorites or favor put on either party. Every client is treated in a just and equal manner.

Services Rendered with Dignity

There are thousands of different cultures and backgrounds that all of us stem from. When working with a mediator who values cultural sensitivity, you’ll notice that services are rendered with dignity. This means that the mediator works to ensure that the process is appropriate to honor the feelings and needs of each client. If a client is uncomfortable in a particular situation, the mediator will alter the mediation location or process to meet the client’s needs. No client is made to feel ashamed or embarrassed, but rather receives services in a dignified manner.

What Cultural Sensitivity in Mediation Does Not Include

There are many assumptions when it comes to cultures and backgrounds. This is also true in regards to cultural sensitivity in mediation and what it includes or does not include. The following items are not part of the cultural sensitivity you’ll find at Donita King Law Offices.

Preferential Treatment

Everyone has the right to their opinion. However, an experienced mediator has been specifically trained not to take sides during mediation. While a mediator may agree with you on a personal level, their specific opinion is left at the door of each and every mediation. Cultural sensitivity does not include preferential treatment where one client receives more attention or better services than the other.

Turning a Blind Eye

It is common in our society to turn a blind eye to those cultures that we don’t understand. However, in cultural sensitivity mediation, the mediator acknowledges any differences that may arise during the process. Whether helpful or hurtful to the opposing party, cultural differences are approached and stated so that everyone is on the same page of understanding.

Double Standards

Cultural sensitivity in mediation does not mean that one culture receives special benefits. Even if the mediator comes from the same cultural background, there is no special treatment for one culture or the other. Double standards are not allowed, and the mediator will ask both parties to abide by the same criteria during the mediation process.

When looking for a mediator with cultural sensitivity in Richmond, VA, look no further than Donita King Law Offices. Donita offers culturally sensitive mediation services to meet the needs of a wide variety of clients. You’ll find that she serves a diverse group of people who all need help through mediation. Every culture and background is an essential part of who each individual is and how they view the world.

Donita King

Ms. King is a member of the Virginia, Pennsylvania, and D.C. State Bars. She also serves as a University of Richmond School of Law Adjunct Professor of Mediation. She previously served on the Virginia Bar Association Joint ADR Council (2015 Chair), and served for several years on the Governor of Virginia’s Interagency Dispute Resolution Council. Ms. King currently serves as a board member of the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board by appointment of the Virginia Supreme Court and has been active with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Women in Business as well. Se habla espanol.

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