What is mediation?
Mediation is a dynamic, structured, interactive process where an impartial third party assists the participants in their communication efforts towards a common goal. This goal can be to resolve a conflict (typically the case), but it can also be to reach an understanding of how the parties want to work together in a way that best corresponds with their individual sets of values and expectations. Regardless of which case we apply mediation in, it’s always a "party-centered" process. This means that I as the mediator will focus on the needs, rights, and interests of each party, one party at a time.
The main thing that might be new to you in a mediation situation from a communication point of view is that you will not be talking to each other for the most part, but rather, each of you will primarily be talking to me. This form of communication is often referred to as individual conversations in the presence of the others.
What are the benefits of mediation?
There are many benefits of having an impartial mediator be the conversation partner at all stages. Perhaps the most important one is that since I am not involved in your day-to-day interaction, I am neutral to the context that connects you and will thus inevitably have to ask clarifying questions in order to better understand each of you. Being present and listening to the answers will, in turn, help the other parties in the conversation to develop a further, more in-depth understanding of each speaker’s perspective.
What is the role of the mediator?
The way we communicate every day usually doesn’t really include asking such fundamental questions. As a result, sometimes we talk past certain points of understanding in our aims to be efficient and productive in meetings, or even nice and non-confronting in our relationships with people. In your Mediation Space, you will have the opportunity to slow down, speak your mind, and listen uninterruptedly because, unlike in your everyday conversations, you will not be expected to respond or react directly. This task will be "outsourced" to me, as the mediator. I will also be responsible for the structure of the process at all times. My job will be to establish a safe space in which you can share all the information you need, in a way that is respectful of others and helpful to you so you can arrive at a mutually agreed-upon solution in the end.
In your mediation space, you will have the opportunity to slow down, speak your mind, and listen uninterruptedly because, unlike in your everyday conversations, you will not be expected to respond or react immediately.