Mediation can also be referred to as ‘assisted negotiation’. Often times, a third independent person in a negotiation process can shed new light on a situation. Important and central to the mediation process is the full consent of all parties involved. If all parties give full consent, virtually any conflict can be resolved to an acceptable conclusion. No one person in the process will dominate and everybody will be given equal time and space to express their viewpoint. In most cases, conflicts arise through not listening to each other properly. A mediator will assist all parties in listening effectively.
Voluntary – All parties must attend voluntarily and can leave at any time for any reason, or no reason.
Collaborative – No member of the mediation party can impose anything on another. Everyone is motivated to work together to solve the issue and reach an acceptable conclusion.
Controlled – Mediation is a controlled environment in which each participant has autonomous decision-making power over their own situation.
Confidential – Mediation is typically a confidential process agreed by all participants. Confidentiality will only be broken where a legal requirement deems it necessary. This will be explained by the Mediator before the process begins. Examples of where the relevant authorities are required to be informed are; treason, acts of terrorism, drug or people trafficking for monetary gain and child protection issues.
Impartial, Neutral, Balanced and Safe – The mediator is responsible for creating an equal and balanced environment where no single member of the mediating party is favoured over another member. The mediator is ethically obligated to acknowledge any bias surrounding the issues in discussion. The mediator’s role is to ensure that no member of the mediating party is coerced or intimidated and that all agreements are reached voluntarily.
Satisfying – If all parties actively participate and voluntarily resolve the issues, every participant will find the process satisfying and the level of stress and anxiety will be greatly reduced.