What is Mediation?
Mediation is the process in which individual persons or groups assisted by a neutral third party seek to attain an equitable solution to their conflict.
Mediation is the process of bringing people together and motivating them to come to a solution themselves. In contrast to a formal legal proceeding a mediator does not render judgement. It is rather the responsibility of the parties themselves to do this. Although the suggestion to seek mediation may come from sources other than the parties themselves, for example a supervisor, a works council, a personnel councellor etc. the decision to go forward with mediation must nontheless be completely voluntarily and enthusiastically embraced.
What ist the difference between Mediation and Coaching?
How does Mediation work?
The mediation process is nonjudicial in character, but nontheless consists of a series of formal steps. These are not arbitrary steps, but are rather natural and commonsense ways of proceeding:
Step 1: Establishing the Ground Rules and Goals for the Process
After welcoming the parties the mediators explain their own function, clarify the goals of the parties involved and establish the rules of discourse. The following are the ground rules for the mediation process:
Step 2: Discussion of the Case and all Germane Matters
- participation must be voluntary
- each person asume full responsibility for his actions
- full disclosure of all relevant information
- strict confidentiality throughout the proceedings
- mediators reserve the right to refuse to testy in court of law
- the rules of civil and adult discourse must be respected at all times
In this step the parties make a preliminary description of the matters to be resolved. The mediators gauge the emotional state of the parties and their reactions to the facts presented. The mediators seek to breach the seemingly unpenetrable barrier between the parties by identifying their common interests. The mediators seek to go beyond the stated positions of the parties in an attempt to reach common ground.
Step 3: First Focus on Conflict and Mutual Understanding
The mediators seek to clarify the parties` positions to the parties themselves. As well they seek to encourage objectivity and understanding in each party. So often parties who are in conflict have no understanding, or appreciation of the opposing position. In this step the mediators seek to encourage mutual understanding.
Step 4: Finding Solutions
In this step the mediators first consolidate the consensus achieved, and than proceed from there to find possible solutions. This latter process may involve continuous brainstorming in which each party freely offers his thoughts and feelings concerning the matter. We should emphasize that at this point evaluation of suggestions is discouraged. After this brainstorming phase the parties are encouraged to select the most practical and equitable solution.
Step 5: Formalization of Agreement
The mediators help the parties to formalize the agreement reached in step 4. Finally should any questions of a legal character arise, the parties are advised to seek advise of appropriate legal council.
What does Mediation do?
Mediation saves time and money. A typical mediation proceeding involves 3 to 7 sessions of 1-2 hours per session. Mediation proceedings have the virtue of transparency. Positions are clarified, bones of contention are identified and common interests are reached. Parties always have the option of seeking legal redress, but this is seldom resorted to in as much as the solutions agreed upon have the wholehearted support of both parties. Mediation is a future oriented process; it does not dwell on the past but looks forward optimistically toward the future. In contrast to the typical situation in a court of law, in which victories are pyrric and mutual recriminations are frequent, in mediation the parties are brought together and mutual understanding has increased
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