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elephants in mediation

A poem on identifying the “elephant in the room”* in mediation.

Tell them what’s the elephant
in the room
they won’t know unless you tell them,
in this Zoom
clarify to make sure that the “elephant” is right –
if not, you may be making all the parties take flight


listen hard and carefully
maintain the strictest confidentiality
take some notes if it helps you focus,
otherwise let listening be the locus


always check back if you picked it right
did I spot the right elephant?
was it important to the parties?
or perhaps what I’d chosen had been an ant?
or perhaps it was just the wrong elephant.


* The “elephant in the room” refers to an obvious major problem or issue that people avoid discussing or acknowledging.1

Written on: 7 November 2021
Faye Ng




  1. Source: The Merriam Webster Dictionary, at www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elephant%20in%20the%20room.

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