Global : 1

4.3.3 Attributes of intercultural mediator

The intercultural mediator must be responsible. He/she must ease communication between both parties, does not substitute another professional and it is not an “extensible arm” of the other to get to where the other can’t. If the mediator becomes an intermediary, he/she takes away the party’s possibility to build a direct relationship between them.

As regards confidentiality, the mediator is usually a member of a group to which he/she must answer to and he/she must belong to an entity (double loyalty). The work of a user is not shared with another person even though the norms that rule intimacy in the group’s relationships are permitted by other contexts.  We must find respectful, cautious and reasonable formulas to inform without scorning or infringing its cultural values.

As regards impartiality, the mediator must not position himself/herself in favor of his/her company’s approaches or interests nor in favor of the immigrant. The mediator must make sure he/she makes the decision that best adapts to his/her needs, interests and situation.

Another quality the mediator must have is cooperation. Sometimes professionals make demands that do not correspond to the mediator. The mediator must reframe its approach and adjust to the multiple possibilities it offers, proposing actions that favor cooperation between professional services and the immigrant group. 

The mediator is not an activist or a defender of immigrant’s rights. He/she must adapt and try to bring positions of the parties in conflict closer. He/she must not remain in a “neutral” position, bolster and channel the aggrieved party to the existing support networks it its community. The mediator cannot present himself/herself before the parties in a confusing way. He/she must reveal the interest of being accepted as a third party among two. He/she must know how to clearly express his/her duties and limitations, never giving the impression of being the solution to the problem.

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