Mediation recognizes the intrinsic potentialities of growth
that reside in any conflictive situation –
MEDIATION is a way to realize these potentialities for the benefit of all parties involved
MEDIATION acknowledges the power of change. Every conflict that arises is the result of a resistance to change. This applies to intra-personal conflicts as well as to any conflict we have with other people. A clash of interests is a challenge for us to consider changes in our intentions, in our behavior, in the usual way we are dealing with our fellow creatures. This does not mean that we have to be prepared, in the first place, to give in to anything. But it means that instead of switching to the primordial mechanisms of fight or flight we do have the skills to create something new within a relationship with our “adversaries”.
During the process of mediation, the mediator creates a safe interpersonal atmosphere, a protected space for the parties involved to express their needs and desires with respect to the conflictive situation. It is the high art of mediation – as well as the responsibility of the mediator – to uphold these conditions of safety and trust during the whole process.
In this extraordinary interpersonal setting, the parties involved have the chance to develop new and surprising solutions to their conflict, solutions that often are amazingly simple and self-evident. Solutions namely that, in the fire of an escalated dispute, are easily overlooked – or cannot be identified at all.
MEDIATION – Meeting the Challenge of Conflict
While professional mediation operates within a framework of several different stages of procedure, any individual mediation session is subject to the individual needs of the current participants. The mediative process is tailored by the mediator to the particular needs of the people involved in the current conflict, and also in accordance to the level of escalation that has already been reached.
The duration of the mediation process as a whole also depends on the nature of the current conflict. There are conflicts that can be dealt with within a single mediation session, or during a mediation scheduled for one day, with several sessions from morning to afternoon. On the other hand, in case of many disputes, a series of mediation sessions, that are scheduled over a longer period of time, is necessary in order to develop a workable agreement or a sustainable solution.
The mediation process may be initiated by a single party or by all parties involved. If at first only one party involved approaches the mediator they may agree that, in a further step, the mediator approaches the other party or the other parties involved and informs them that the other party proposes to settle the dispute by way of a mediation process. One of the basic principles in mediation is the principle of voluntary participation. This also implies that each party involved in the process of mediation always remains free in their decisions. At any stage of the proceedings – be it with respect to their decision to agree to participate in the whole mediation process at all, be it with respect to a possible decision during the process to refrain from a further participation in the mediation, the voluntary nature of mediation has to be respected by every party involved, as well as by the mediator himself, at any time.