Why Mediation Works
Yvonne Pedersen - Mediation Services
Mediation allows disputing parties resolve their conflict through collaboration rather than confrontation. An independent, neutral mediator guides the process, helping parties identify the issues and work towards resolving their differences.
Mediation can be applied to many different areas of conflict from simple to complex disputes involving just two parties or many more. It provides a respectful and confidential environment for resolving family, workplace and community disputes
Family conflict can be deeply upsetting and extremely stressful. Mediation is particularly appropriate and effective as it is designed to de-escalate tension and reduce conflict. Relationship breakdown, contact disputes, custody issues and disagreements over the division of assets are some of the areas where mediation can help. As the needs of each family are unique, individual circumstances can be incorporated into a mediated agreement.
Elder mediation is a growing area where older persons, their families and other relevant parties can have important conversations and make decisions that reflect the needs of all, but with an emphasis on the quality of life of the older person. Discussions on retirement, living arrangements, financial management and estate planning can be situations suitable for elder mediation.
Workplace conflict can seriously undermine people’s performance and productivity. It causes distress and disruption to the individual, group and even the wider organisation. Unhealthy conflict can range from personality clashes to more serious manifestations of unfair treatment such as bullying and harassment. Mediation can offer an informal and speedy solution to workplace conflict, and it can be used at any point in the conflict cycle. While more formal disciplinary and grievance procedures look at evidence, mediation can address conflict that is underpinned by allegations. It also allows for creative outcomes that would not be available through the narrower remit of investigation or litigation. Workplace relationships can be rebuilt and valuable skills developed to help participants resolve disputes for themselves in the future.
Community mediation is a way of resolving disputes within your local area. These can include boundary disputes, problems with noise, pets or parking. Mediation provides a medium where neighbours can come together to work out their difficulties and allow a better quality of life within the community.
Benefits of Mediation
Control: The mediator is neither judge nor jury; the disputing parties decide on the solutions and control the outcome. When parties have created their own resolution they own it and are much more likely to adhere to it. Solutions agreed at mediation are very effective and tend to succeed over time.
Confidentiality: All aspects of mediation are confidential and remain known to only the parties and the mediator. Meetings take place in private and no part of the mediation can be publicised.
Cost and Time: Mediation is generally more cost effective than court proceedings and can be concluded a lot faster.
Relationships: Mediation helps preserve relationships; litigation can destroy them. Adversarial systems can increase antagonism and entrench positions. Mediation requires an open mind and a willingness to listen and consider the other participant’s position. It de-escalates disputes, reformulates communication and rebuilds relationships.