Mediation - what is that?
Intervention in a dispute, mainly between two parties, by a neutral third party who convenes negotiations, evaluates the arguments of both parties and proposes a - non-binding - solution. To be differentiated from 'arbitration', where the neutral party may take a binding decision. (Source: WordPress Hosting).
Mediation – when does a situation lend itself to mediation?
Mediation can be considered in a situation where a problem, conflict or damage is recognisable and can be clearly stated. Those involved have the freedom to cooperate in the resolution of this conflict, and indicate that they are prepared to do so. A situation requires mediation when direct conflict management visibly comes to a dead end, and the involved parties are looking for a solution, but feel distraught and desperate. A mediator can, for example, break through a rigid and unsuccessful way of communication based on the principle of 'an eye for an eye'.
Mediation is based on a number of basic assumptions:
- The central assumption is that conflict management can be healthy and can present a valuable opportunity for growth and clarification in relationships. The difference is in the way we do this! In China, there are two symbols for conflict: a "possible positive change" or a "possible danger". We can decide whether we seize this chance for positive change or move towards a possible danger, which arises when unnamed wild emotions erect a wall.
- Conflict management is a process, not a product!
- The involvement of a third party can positively influence a conflict, because it brings an independent, non-involved, neutral or arbitrational view, and can look for creative and alternative solutions.
- Developing numerous talents and skills during a mediation process enables stakeholders to successfully handle future problems and conflicts.
Mediation is a basic democratic activity in which equality, cooperation and self-responsibility play a central role.
You can't change how others deal with conflicts, and you often can't do anything about the situation. But you can change what you do.
(Source: Make your conflict into an opportunity. Dana Caspersen)