So, what is Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary, non-binding and confidential dispute resolution process in which a mediator helps the parties in dispute to try to reach a negotiated settlement. Unlike a court or tribunal hearing, mediation is informal and non-adversarial and the resolution lies in the hands of the parties in dispute. The mediator is not in a decision-making role. This means the resolution is more likely to suit the parties than a determination from a Court, through an investigation process or arbitration.
Importantly, Mediation is confidential to the parties – nothing that occurs in the Mediation session can be utilised by any party if the Mediation fails to resolve the dispute. Only the formal agreement reached through Mediation can be relied on at the conclusion of the session. So, Mediation is a ‘Time Out’ for the disputing parties. The Courts respect the ‘Without Prejudice’ nature of Mediation. This allows the parties to explore possible ways to resolve their differences without fearing that any concessions will be used against them at a later stage.
Mediation is also cost effective and if the parties require it, and usually can take place at relatively short notice if the parties require it.
In a dispute situation, the mediator’s role is to:
- establish a trusted relationship with the parties
- encourage win-win negotiations
- assist the parties to work to acceptable solutions
- manage the mediation, make interventions and keep up momentum
- test assumptions and help to frame negotiations
- ‘reality check’ possible solutions and alternatives to settlement
Mediation can produce very sound and satisfying rewards. Helping people to overcome blockages and prejudices and to reach their own agreement. The success rate is high – typically around 70 per cent – and perhaps most importantly, mediation works well in situations where there is a need for an on-going relationship.
If you’d like to discuss using Mediation to resolve a dispute or grievance use the form below to contact us for a confidential discussion.