What is Mediation?
It is a process in which the clients, with the support of the mediator, identify issues, develop options, consider alternatives, and make decisions about future actions and outcomes. The mediator acts as a neutral third party to support clients to reach their own decision. The mediator does not decide who is right or wrong. It is an informal and confidential way for people to resolve disputes with the help of a neutral mediator who is trained to help people discuss their differences.
I have previously worked with Family Mediation with the Family Court of Western Australia. I now provide mediation for family groups, family members which may involve just two people, and also workplace mediation where employees/employers feel like they ‘have hit a brick wall’ and just cannot move past it.
There are many different aspects to how a mediation session is conducted. Identifying risks, negotiation, at times ‘a reality check’, communication, options, contingency planning among a few. Keeping everyone focused and on track can be a challenge because usually by the time I provide either family or workplace mediation, it has gone way beyond what it needed to. Having said that, I am always up for a challenge!
Better Communication & Understanding
I encourage both parties to look at the dispute through different lenses: What would be a more practical view on the matter? What do they think will be fair? What do they think will best honour and promote a good working relationship? Assist them to become ‘unstuck’.
It has been my experience in mediation that many disputes come about by either person not being able to communicate with the other which in turn means there is little understanding of what the needs and interests are of the other.
Quite often, if not most of the time, it comes down to who is right and who is wrong.