Mediation is a voluntary method of dispute resolution which has proven extremely successful in resolving interpersonal disputes. It is confidential and quick, and can be implemented at very low cost.
The principal advantages of mediation are:
Statistics demonstrate that over 90% of disputes can be resolved through mediation, and agreements in workplace and commercial disputes are generally reached after a single two to three hour session.
In mediation, parties settle their own disputes with the assistance of a mediator who has been trained in conflict resolution techniques, using effective communication, exploration of options, collaborative negotiation, creative problem-solving, and impasse resolution.
(Plus a variety of other methods.)
Mediation differs from litigation and arbitration in its openness to creative solutions, and in its collaborative non-adversarial process. Mediation sessions are generally informal and "off the record", enabling parties to resolve not only their surface dispute, but its underlying causes. In this way mediation can prevent hidden issues from resurfacing and creating future disputes.
- It is rapid, confidential and inexpensive.
- It is preventative, and saves money, emotion and effort in the long run.
- It empowers people to solve their own problems.
- It promotes unity and reconciliation.
- It is adaptable to differing cultures and traditions.
- It is democratic and participative.
- It improves motivation and team effort.
- It reduces antagonism in relations between individuals.
- It defuses shame, anger, defensiveness and resentment.