Mediation

Mediation, its importance, and role of mediator

  • blog
  • 28th Apr, 2021
Mediation

Mediation, the interactive procedure in which the conflict between disputing parties or team members is discussed and resolved with the help of a third party known as the mediator. The mediator should be unbiased and understanding and should listen to all parties involved in the dispute. The process of mediation helps the parties to come to an understanding without the influence of the mediator.

The mediator shouldn’t impose any decision but only point out the cause of problems between parties, hence called unbiased. There are various methods of mediation. Counseling and Therapy can also be linked with mediation. They are similar terms but not necessarily the same. Counseling tends to have greater breadth than mediation.

We can see many examples of counseling in the movies where husband and wife go to counselors when they are on the verge of divorce. The counselor, in this case, tries to listen to both personnel and help them find out if there is any chance to save their relationship. Mediation also works in a similar way but mainly focuses on the workplace where interpersonal disputes among employees are sorted out. We have to keep in mind that mediation or counseling always doesn’t guarantee 100% positive results.

The significance of Mediation to resolve workplace conflict

A company consists of various departments and big projects require all the departments to work as a team and finish the projects. But there may come a time when members of one department don’t agree with members of other departments resulting in disputes. Sometimes small conflicts fade away quickly but sometimes these small conflicts may result in personal clashes. Where mediation required where an unbiased mediator helps to calm down the situation and tries to resolve the clash.

When two team members working on a big project are not talking and avoiding each other then there is a big chance of project failure. So as a project manager, you have to dissolve these issues as soon as possible. Mediation plays a vital role in these situations. If these scenarios ignored for a long period of time then the cost of the project will increase, product quality will not meet or the project fails ultimately.

1. Introductory meeting

This is where the formal mediation process starts where the mediator introduces two concerning parties. Now the mediator will make an open statement and provide the guidelines on which the further meetings will be based on. The mediator will try to understand the problems on the surface level

2. Statement of the problems

Both parties will make their official statements concerning the disputes and both perspectives are available to the mediator to work on. Both parties will try to make their point on the statements explaining everything on their behalf.

3. Information gathering

The mediator will ask some questions circling around the statements and try to understand the core problems. The key points and any kind of emotional attachments with the conflicts will be pointed out. The more valuable information the easier the case will be to solve the conflict.

4. Core problem recognition

Based upon the information gathered and facts collected from the meeting mediator will try to indicate the core problems to the involving parties and the mediator will point out the base of the dispute upon which both parties are requested to work on. Everyone will give their suggestions and concerns regarding the identified problems.

5. Agreement between parties

When both parties have worked on their issues then the bargaining process will commence. An overall statement will be provided to them and they will modify it according to their valid points. After both parties have agreed to the mutual statement then an agreement paper will be signed. The mediator will make the closure to end the meeting.

Advantages of mediation

  1. It is an informal process. No attorneys required so time will not be wasted on legal procedure.
  2. A highly confidential so both concerning parties can open up and disclose private information of the company to help the case.
  3. Cost-effective process because only internal members of the company will be involved in the case.
  4. Time-efficient and fast.
  5. Unbiased and mutual results so that both parties satisfied.
  6. Future understanding between the disputed parties will be good.
  7. More interaction between the members.

Popular types of mediation

Traditional Mediation

Also known as facilitative mediation. In this method, an expert mediator will interact with the parties having a dispute. The mediator will not make any comments or give his/her opinion but the emphasis will be given on their mutual understanding. Both parties will try to come to an agreement voluntarily.• Court-Mandated Mediation
Mediation doesn’t involve legal procedure but in very few cases where conflicting parties choose to include their attorneys for their benefit then mediation has to go through legal procedure. In this case, an agreement will be possible through court and whosoever has the strong point may get benefits and can have a result in their favor.

Evaluative Mediation

Unlike traditional mediation, evaluative mediation involves a mediator as a guide. The mediator will actually make some suggestions and give their opinions. They will go through the details and collect information about the case. The mediator will use this information to make a statement on which both parties will comply after certain modifications. Most evaluative mediators are those people who have legal knowledge, for example, attorneys.

Med-Arb

It stands for mediation-arbitration. Sometimes mediation doesn’t reach the conclusion when parties having major disputes don’t want to voluntarily come to an agreement, in such cases, an arbitration comes into play. If the conflict remains as it is after mediation then arbitration can take over and he/she will give counseling to all involved. After counseling a written agreement form will be written where both parties will sign and put their grudges aside.

E-Mediation

If the parties who have conflicts are far from each other or they don’t want to meet each other then E-Mediation comes into play. E-mediation occurs online where third parties will not be involved but a software-driven online dispute resolution system is used. This will try to automatically solve the conflicts. This may not be that effective as everything will be totally based on online software.

Mediation has become an important part of software companies where conflict between quality assurance and software developers is likely to occur.

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