Mediation Process

I like to think that each of us is totally individual; therefore, to put it simply, our minds and mind maps are all different. I have no idea how your mind map looks and you have no idea of how mine looks. As people get to know each other, their knowledge of each other helps them to understand the other person’s mind map, but one can never totally mimic nor always identify with the experiences or motivation of the other. It is these differences which can often lead to the same concepts and or ideas that each might express differently but with the same outcome in mind. It is often our “baggage” which motivates us, causes arguments and can destroy good intentions and the peace.

Before getting into an argument with another person, there must exist a relationship. You might never have met nor spoken a person, prior to the argument, however there was peace between you. There are situations where you might have formed a prior opinion of a person from ideas that you have taken on board which have been given to you by someone else.

You might be involved in a car accident with a stranger, until that point there was no relationship; now there is. Each of you has a choice; either to resolve the damage amicably or to argue. In the other instance, you might have never met somebody but have a friend who has has conflict with that person before and your mind has become poisoned toward them.

The point here is that conflict and disputes arise disguised in many forms throughout life and the difference in how we handle ourselves is the key to minimising our emotional stress. There is nothing wrong with needing an “interpreter” to assist both parties to understand each other. Often both parties in conflict want the same thing, they simply don’t know it at the time.

There is an old story about an orange. Two people are in conflict as to which part should be discarded; either the peel or the inside fruit. If they had been assisted by a third person, it would have been discovered that both people could have what they wanted. One wanted to discard the peel because they wanted to eat the fruit and the other wanted to discard the fruit because they wanted to use the peel.

Mediation is a process in which the parties to a dispute, with the facilitation of a third person, a mediator, assist the conflicting parties to identify their disputed issues with the AIM to RESOLVE them.

The Mediator helps the disputing parties to understand each other. The mediator often known as a facilitator then helps the parties to develop different options which might prove often to be advantageous to only one party, then to consider each others options, consider alternatives and endeavour to reach an agreement.

The mediator has no advisory or determinative role in regard to the content of the dispute or the outcome. The parties basically create their own outcome.  A mediator who is also a conciliator has the power to suggest a solution if necessary.

Lastly, I don’t know anybody who consciously wants to create conflict and bad relationships.

The Following is The Mediation Process in stages, which I follow and as taught by IAMA.

Step 1:  On the Day, Prior to Mediation Session?

  1. Preparation by the Mediator

Step 2: Framework Setting for the Mediation

  1. Setting the ground Rules
  2. An explanation by the mediator of the process and confirmation that the parties agree to mediation.

Step 3: The Mediator takes each party’s statement and clarifies it.

  1. Parties talk to mediator. Each party presents a statement of the dispute from his or her perspective.Parties do not respond to each other at this stage – just give their own views –
  2. Mediator summarises and confirms the summary is an accurate account of the dispute from the position of each party.

Step 4: Construction of an Agenda

  1. Parties in turn suggest topics
  2. The Mediator creates a Mutual list
  3. Mediator makes sure that each party is happy with the topics on the list
  4. Mediator may add to the list
  5. Mediator gains agreement from the parties to the final list

Step 5: Mediator together with the Parties explore the List

  1. The Topics on the List are discussed in turn – past, present, future
  2. Parties talk  to/through the mediator about the past
  3. The Mediator facilitates discussion between parties about the past and present
  4. The Parties talk to each other about the future and the Mediator assists to keep communication in order.

Step 6: Each party has a separate meeting with the Mediator

  1. The party talks to the Mediator in confidence. The private session provides the opportunity for each party to express opinions and provide information that they are not comfortable disclosing to the other party. The Mediator discusses the reality of different options for the party to consider to come to an agreement.
  2. The Mediator assures the party that nothing will be taken back to the “table” and  is in strict confidence.

Step 7: Option Generation – Selection and Negotiation

  1. Mediator and the parties brainstorm as many options as possible
  2. Mediator suggests options only to broaden the scope
  3. Mediator checks with parties that all Agenda topics are being encompassed
  4. Mediator encourages interest-based negotiation using objective criteria to choose between options

Step 8: Agreement

  1. The general terms of agreement/s are drafted first, specifics follow.
  2. Mediator checks the workability and reality of the agreement.
  3. If needed, Mediator walks through next meeting between parties.
  4. Arranges review meeting whether there is a final agreement or not.
  5. The parties agree on terms of announcement to other people (if needed).