Facilitating restorative justice has helped shrink my ego, a good relationship skill.

It’s not about me. 

That simple line will solve issues.  Tell it to yourself, again and again.

When my teen is acting fussy, making me mad.  It’s not about me.  I just finished reading Zero Limits, (more info) which very briefly gave me the tool to use specific thoughts.  The thoughts are: I love you.  I’m sorry.  Forgive Me.  Thank You.Like other restorative justice programs referrals ebb and flow.  I am handling a larger number of cases at the moment.   Complicated cases, with lots of layers and multiple issues.  I have been using all my resources to do these pre-conference meetings.  I’ve been teaching and role modeling at the same time, which makes me even more aware of what I am doing, so I can process later.

I’ve been doing restorative justice for so long, that I take what is in front of me.  There are the necessary agenda items to prepare people to conference but you never know how many meetings it will take.  I’m going to use the word listen as a verb now.  You listen people to the conference.  Doing restorative justice well, means taking yourself out of it.  It’s not about me.

You listen to the victims experience.  You listen how people were impacted.  You listen for intentions, you listen for healing.  You listen to offenders, you listen to stories.  You listen, listen, listen.  Did you ever use a word so much you question if your even spelling it correctly, you don’t recognized it anymore.  That just happened.  Listen didn’t look like listen anymore, and I guess that is how it goes in preparing people for restorative justice sessions.

I observed someone frustrated after sitting in on a pre-conference meeting.  The persons own issues, buttons maybe were pushed.  I responded by listening, exploring it a bit in that moment.  The student of the process, said “I don’t buy it”, and shared perspective on the situation.  Later I realized restorative justice facilitators, have to remember:  Its not about me. 

We don’t have “buy” anything because it’s not about us.  What we facilitate is restorative justice.  That means we meet people were they are at.  We explore and support a process of coming together to talk about what happened, sharing our impacts, and perspectives on what needs to happen to make things right.

The skills we use are empathy, respect, understanding and knowledge about the process.  The process.  The process requires respect by the parties involved, committment to prepare and be present in the process.  To bring people together successfully, for healing requires shrinking your ego.  Its not about me.

Maybe your already really good at reducing your ego to facilitate, and you can leave yourself out of it.  Maybe your just learning and this is an aha.  We don’t get a skill if we don’t practice it.  And we don’t get better at something without focus. 

I love you.  I’m sorry.  Forgive me.  Thank you.

Intentional Treasures website photo www.intentionaltreasures.com