Mediationby Rita Bailey
What do mediators do?
Mediation, like all conflict resolution approaches, is a means to en end.
Everything the mediator does should be done with the desired goal in mind, which is
- To assist the parties to find the answers themselves, rather than having a solution imposed on them
- To reach a win-win solution
- To finish with both parties feeling confident that they have been able to sort their differences and move on
- To avoid the stress, expense and inevitable fall-out that comes from litigation
- To avoid future conflict
- Hopefully, to enable both parties to feel that they are now able to give of their best.
The mediator will therefore facilitate, assisting staff members to settle their dispute by finding a way to resolve the issue themselves. This involves inviting each person to take part in the mediation process, in the course of which the mediator will
- Assist each person to consider the issue from an objective perspective
- Summarise and clarify what is said and in this way support each person to listen to the other, and understand the other’s point of view
- Encourage positive and civil interaction between individuals during the mediation process
- Stay impartial and treat both parties with equal respect and fairness
- Rephrase the language used by each individual to diffuse any tension
- Help them to be flexible and explore creative solutions
- Provide a clear structure for discussion to take place and for potential solutions to occur
- Assist both parties to progress through each stage of the mediation as smoothly as possible
- Assess any impasse that may occur during the mediation process and support each person to overcome it quickly and fairly
- Step back when the individuals are engaging in a positive manner in coming up with their own solutions or their own terms of agreement
- Ensure, as much as possible, that items for potential future friction have been raised and discussed.