Well here’s what we think!
Mediation is one way of talking to people that you find it hard to talk to.
There’s someone there to make it easier. And they are independent. This way, you can be sure they won’t tell you what to do! And they stay impartial, so they won’t judge you or what you say in the mediation, or what you may or may not have done in the past.
The mediator isn’t a magician who will pull the ideal solution out of a hat. Most people find that talking to each other in this type of way really helps them to see that they need and want. And then they’re able to resolve the situation themselves. So one key benefit of mediation is that the power to agree is in your hands. People are helped to build bridges and regain a measure of trust in each other. And because it works with people’s feelings encourages openness, it usually results in re/built relationships.
Mediation is voluntary so you should not feel forced into the room – and you can opt out at any stage. But it’s always worth meeting a mediator, at least, privately and confidentially, before you make your final decision about whether to go into the ‘joint’ mediation with the other person involved.
You will be taken through a number of stages (and you can opt out at any time). First the mediator meets each side privately and without disclosing each person’s issues or feelings. Then the mediator ensures the situation is appropriate for mediation and that they have the necessary people on board to agree any changes. And finally, there is a joint meeting with both people there with the mediator. This is a managed meeting; each person gets a chance to say what they need to, and then the issues are explored and feelings acknowledged, before people more on to identifying some potential solutions and arriving at agreements for the future.
The mediator can write up the agreements if people want that; otherwise, the meeting is entirely confidential. The mediator checks in with the parties a few months later to see how things are going.
To learn how to mediate, sign up for our next course now!
Mediation for Managers, K Graham – NB Books