What is mediation?
Mediation (also known as Alternative Dispute Resolution – ADR) is an informal dispute resolution process facilitated by a trained, impartial mediator. The aim of mediation is to bring two or more parties together in a safe environment to explore concerns and reach a resolution that everybody is satisfied with. It is a voluntary process and all parties must be willing to enter into mediation.
Conflict can arise for many reasons and often this results in a breakdown in communication that can just get worse and worse if it is not tackled. Many organisations – private, public and charitable - are now turning to mediation as an impartial, cost-effective way of bringing two or more parties together to talk through their dispute and reach a ‘win-win’ outcome.
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What are the benefits?
• Mediation is usually quicker, almost always less expensive and less stressful than taking legal action and often lasts less than a day
• It is ‘future-focussed’ which means that the mediator will help people to move away from what has happened in the past and focus on what they want moving forwards
• Working relationships will be improved. If teams are able to work harmoniously together they are likely to be more productive through positive communication and shared problem solving
• In communities, disputes can be talked through and resolved in a safe and respectful environment with the support of an impartial professional
• Mediation often reduces the number of formal grievances that take place and allows both parties to work together to solve disputes