Because it was my responsibility to give notice and get everyone as ready as possible to successfully complete the negotiations, I took it quite personally. At times like these, I find it useful to figuratively "go to the balcony", by which I mean literally to take a walk, chat with colleagues and regain my balance and perspective. I am engaged to perform a job and if I allow myself to be ensnared in the conflict, I am ineffective. Still, it was challenging to bring myself out of the conflict so that I could effectively conduct the balance of the negotiations before me with my usual even-handedness.
What strategies do you employ to stay out of other people's disputes as mediator or to avoid pointing fingers as the mediator as a target?