Mediation is a very powerful tool for helping people to resolve deep differences and move forward positively.
It offers a process whereby people who have differences between themselves meet to work through issues with an impartial Mediator. Regardless of how difficult things may appear, a skilled and experienced Mediator can provide a structured process that assists the two sides to discuss the issues and explore ways of dealing with them.
When people are locked in a dispute and come to mediation, it’s typical for them to experience negative and painful feelings:
- they have been “wronged” and feel they are in the “right”;
- they have really strong feelings about what has happened in the past;
- they feel unable to find a way out of the impasse.
A Mediator brings vital qualities to this challenging situation. First and foremost, independence. A Mediator approaches these difficult issues from the point of view of a detached third person. This impartiality is indispensable to finding a solution. A Mediator also brings commitment, experience and expertise to help everyone concerned to exhaust all possibilities for positive action.
Rather than compromising or surrendering on important issues, the purpose of mediation is to focus on all the significant concerns of the parties in a systematic way. Any decisions arising out of mediation must be agreed to by each party, and, significantly, no change occurs to peoples’ rights or positions unless they agree to it.
The mediation process is conducted within a forum of privacy and confidentiality.
The Mediation Process
- A prior meeting, telephone or email contact between each of the parties individually and the Mediator. This meeting covers any questions about the process.
- The actual mediation meeting, chaired or facilitated by the Mediator. Sometimes parties will also have support people, and a legal or other representative, in attendance.
- The conclusion. This involves a discussion of the ramifications of the mediation meeting, which depend on whether there has been a full or partial agreement, or less commonly no resolution.