What is Mediation?
Mediation is a process whereby an independent, neutral Mediator(s) assists the parties to come to agreement through collaborative engagement.
In preventative mediation (Elder Mediation and Workplace Mediation), the Mediator works with the parties to address issues of concern that, left unresolved, may escalate into a more serious dispute. In remedial mediation (Workplace Mediation and Commercial Mediation), the Mediator works to defuse hostile attitudes, remedy miscommunications and to soften or eliminate extreme negotiating positions.
With the support of the Mediator, the parties assess weaknesses in their own case and recognise potential strengths of the other side. Significantly, the Mediator facilitates the exploration of creative and innovative solutions that the parties, caught up in adversarial negotiation, might otherwise never contemplate. The emphasis is on fashioning a solution satisfactory to all parties to the dispute.
How Successful is Mediation?
The mediation process improves communication, narrows outstanding issues, defuses emotions and defines areas of agreement, leading to successful resolutions in 80% of cases (Labour Relations Commission, 2003). Where the parties in mediation do not reach full settlement, parts of the dispute are generally resolved, leaving fewer and less extreme differences to be addressed.
Key Tenets of Mediation
- Mediation is a collaborative, interest-based process.
- Mediation is a voluntary process – any participant may withdraw at any stage and any agreed settlement must be mutually consensual.
- The role of the Mediator is non-directional and impartial. The Mediator plays an active role but does not advise the parties nor take sides.
- The mediation process is confidential to allow for open and frank discussion.
Mediation is a flexible process which can be adapted to the particular needs of the parties and stakeholders.
I am a product of my decisions.