How does Mediation Work?

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The process of mediation is always based on being impartial. In a neutral environment, people in dispute can discuss their difficulties freely in front of (usually) two mediators. Our mediators act as enablers to help people resolve issues for themselves and negotiate a solution that meets each person’s needs.

Our mediators’ role is to:-

  • Establish what the conflict is about.
  • Clarify the position of each party.
  • Acknowledge feelings to help people let go of their anger and move forward.
  • Highlight areas of possible compromise
  • Encourage the parties to listen, step back and think about possible practical solutions, relating to their own behaviour as well as that of others involved.
  • Focus on rebuilding relationships and working together towards an agreement.

The Mediation Time-line
In most circumstances, the mediation process takes about six weeks. It is broken down into the following processes.

Referrals
Most mediation cases are referred to us through a third party, such as a Housing Association, Local Authority, The Police, School or an Employer.

Increasingly we are taking referrals directly from members of the public experiencing a disagreement within a workplace or community setting.

Contacting the People Involved
We contact all the people involved in the conflict to:

  • let them know we would like to visit them and
  • to check their willingness to participate and discuss their availability to meet with our mediators.

Initial Appointments
Two of our mediators separately visits each person involved. This is an opportunity for us to explain how the mediation process works, establish key facts and issues, explore options and decide what will happen next.

The Mediation
Mediations usually take place as a ‘Round Table’ or joint session at a neutral venue. With our mediators help, the meeting works towards a workable solution where we encourage the production of a written or verbal agreement (not legally binding). In cases where the parties do not want to meet face to face, we can arrange a ‘Shuttle Meeting’, where our mediators provide the interface between clients to help identify a way forward.

And Finally
Following the mediation, we monitor the cases for several weeks and clients are asked to complete our evaluation form. Cases are closed when either:-

  • A full solution is reached
  • All the people involved are talking and working towards an agreement
  • One of the clients is no longer willing to participate
  • Or it is agreed that the mediation process is not appropriate for the situation

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