Mediation is a structured process for conflict transformation supported by a skilled external mediator.
A skilled mediator creates the conversation container, slows down the conversation, and helps people learn to hear each other by translating any judgments or criticism into underlying values, qualities, and universal needs. S/he also facilitates the creation of mutually satisfactory solutions.
An investment (of trust, time, money) into mediation can save a lot of extra costs in future – from emotional to motivational to material ones.
As a group process & dialogue specialist, I enjoy mediating teams, communities, and multi-stakeholder contexts, such as:
- mediating within a team / group / community;
- mediating between departments, teams, groups (within an organization or company)
- mediating between stakeholders (company / organization, suppliers, customers, users, subcontractors, ...)
- mediating between stakeholders in local communities.
Mediation process usually has the following stages:
1. Establishing trust with the client; understanding the “big picture” of the conflict landscape; creating a draft proposal for the mediation process.
2. In separate meetings, establishing contact and trust with the parties to the mediation.
3. The core multi-party mediation process usually contains the following elements (usually in several instalments):
• introduction (framing, process overview, roles, guidelines),
• facilitating each party feeling heard and understood to their satisfaction (on point-to-point basis)
• creating a shared reality, to understand the whole picture together,
• identifying needs and values – the noncontroversial essence that is shared by all,
• creating clear, specific, and doable agreements,
• devising a plan for monitoring the implementation of the agreements