by Rita Bailey

What is mediation?

Mediation is a process for resolving contested issues. It is relatively informal, despite involving an impartial third party who assists the disputing individuals to discuss their situation with a view to reaching an agreement or resolution to the dispute between themselves.

It is a structured process, with a beginning, a middle and an end, through which the mediator facilitates individuals to move at their own pace.

Each individual voluntarily agrees to attend a mediation meeting to discuss the contested issues. At this meeting, each person will represent themselves and speak for themselves.

The individuals involved are assisted by the mediator to generate and select options and mutually agree the outcomes they want, leaving the control firmly in their hands.

Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbours to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser – in fees, expenses, and waste of time.

Abraham Lincoln

It involves a third party (the manager/mediator) who will maintain an impartial and neutral role throughout the mediation process, ensuring they never takes sides or impose their will or solutions on the individuals involved. It is a confidential process, which provides a non-adversarial and flexible option for disputes.

Mediation offers a mechanism for rapidly handling disputes before they move on to the stage of grievance and disciplinary processes or even tribunals.

Key characteristics

The mediation process is

  • Informal
  • Structured
  • Voluntary
  • Generative
  • Impartial and neutral
  • Confidential
  • Fast.