MEDIATION

Why use mediation?

Mediation is often used as a means of solving disputes between employees and employers, as well as disputes about the standard of certain services. Given that conflicts are generally both unwanted and difficult to resolve, it’s often worth asking a neutral third party to oversee talks between the disputing parties about the problems affecting their relationship. The idea is not just to prevent the situation from escalating, but also to find a more effective means of dealing with conflicts, so that they can signal the start of a process of positive change instead of deterioration.

My own approach to mediation involves offering the parties in dispute either a single exploratory meeting or a short series of no more than five meetings. In some cases, a single exploratory discussion is all that is needed to arrive at a solution. However, the parties may wish to explore certain aspects (legal issues, for example) in more detail, which is why I am able to offer a wide range of packages. Please feel free to ask for my impartial advice on a follow-up to an initial mediation procedure.

The advantages of mediation

  •  it’s impartial;
  •  it’s transparent;
  •  it’s quick;
  •  it’s cheap (and it may even safe money for employers if it helps te prevent work stoppages or speeds up the process of occupational rehabilitation);
  •  it can break a stalemate;
  •  the focus is on restoring relations rather than on identifying who is to blame;,
  •  it may signal the start of a process of positive change;

Certain essential criteria need to be met if two parties are to work together to find an effective solution. These are an absence of compulsion, confidentiality and shared responsibility.

The procedure is as follows:

  1. One of the parties gets in touch with me.
  2. We, i.e. the parties involved in the dispute and myself, assure ourselves that the first two of the above criteria, i.e. non-compulsion and confidentiality, are satisfied.
  3. We analyse the problem and formulate a joint definition of the problem.
  4. We set priorities.
  5. I draft a proposal for a solution that both parties agree is acceptable to them.
  6. The two parties commit themselves to the solution.