People come to Mediation because sometimes, despite their best efforts, they feel stuck and need some assistance to enable them to resolve issues and communicate more effectively in their various relationships. Mediators provide assistance to parties to achieve that. We have all sorts of relationships: commercial, international, community, friendships, family and intimate relationships. Some of them are more predicated on transactions; some are more predicated on the nature of the relationship itself. Almost all relationships can be assisted by using mediation.

“In mediation, the goal isn’t for me to win; the goal is for us to win. Our goal isn’t to be right; our goal is to find right”. (Anonymous participant)

Robert Benjamin, mediator and disputes resolver from the USA, has commented that we have no neurological imperative to mediate or negotiate; we have a neurological imperative to fight or flight. Fight or flight involves us in a two dimensional process; we use our emotions to guide our behavioural responses. So when someone comes to mediation, they are adding their third dimension; they are using their cognition, their thinking abilities, to problem solve together. Coming to Mediation is a choice, and a good choice, because being in destructive conflict is stressful and expensive and frustrating. The success of Mediation shows that life doesn’t have to be that way.

“We have to face the fact that either all of us are going to die together or we are going to have to learn to live together and if we are going to live together, we have to talk”. (Eleanor Roosevelt)

Most Mediators follow a process to provide a degree of safety and security for their parties but Mediation is art as well as business (and it employs a degree of magic as well). Good mediation is reliable without being prescriptive and a good mediation process is tailored to the individuals attending as well as being framed within a map. It is, however, the parties to the Mediation who have the difficult conversations with each other and who find the solutions which will fit them best; the Mediator provides guidance and their particular expertise in intervening in those conversations so that they flow better and come to better results.

How do we measure the success of Mediation? Here are some questions: Did you achieve greater clarity of understanding: of yourself; of the other; of the issues; of the nature of the problem? Was the quality of the discussion higher? Did you gain any insights? Do you have some options to work with? Could you make any decisions together? Are they sustainable? Did the relationship survive? Will you be able to have more constructive discussions with each other in the future? We can, and should of course, also ask whether an agreement was reached but different people measure the success of Mediation in different ways. A good Mediator will assist each of the parties to articulate what their own measure of success will be. Sometimes in Mediation what we achieve is that parties have an ability to bring out more of the best in each other and less of the worst. Problem solving then becomes easier.

There are a number of different types of Mediation; the most common are facilitative and evaluative. At Around the Table Solutionz, we follow the facilitative model of Mediation. Our experience, terms and conditions and specialities are available from the About Us section.