An overview of how Mediation works
Mediation can work several ways but generally the mediation process involves the Mediator facilitating:
- Each party agreeing to Mediation, as it is a voluntary process;
- Each party listening to the other’s point of view, preferably without interruption. Mediators vary on this issue but we have found that, at least in the first rounds of communication, the approach of letting each party speak without interruption yields the best results;
- The identification of issues which need to be resolved;
- Each party sharing relevant information;
- Exploration of ideas and options;
- Identification of barriers to settling the dispute;
- Constructive exchange information, ideas and feelings, especially in conflict between people who were once close;
- The testing of possible solutions that appear to meet the needs of both parties;
- Making decisions about which options to adopt;
- Managing the negotiation process;
- Each party making informed decisions;
- Help create solutions that meet the needs of all
- Each party agreeing to selected options;
- Both parties putting their agreement in writing.
A mediation session generally sees both parties together then each party separately and then the parties together again. Each mediation session generally lasts for about 2-5 hours and the average number of sessions for the whole process of a mediation assignment is generally between 3-6, but can be more. The frequency of appointments is adjusted in accordance with participants’ needs.
The process of mediation
The process of mediation – which is conducted in an informal, yet structured, forum – allows people to trust that their point of view will be heard. When mediation is managed professionally (such as each party having an opportunity to be heard and to describe their situation and then listen to the other party) confidence in the process is generally established and the focus generally shifts from past pain, rigidity and conflict to more flexible and outcome oriented solutions for the present and future.
The Mediator’s job uses a range of skills (often from previous professional training, in this case Martin Walsh’s skills and training as a Clinical Psychologist and Manager) while acting as an impartial third party.
Professional management of the mediation process tends to reduce unhelpful feelings that obstruct progress and so allows for the beginning of mutual agreement and understanding to develop.
The mediator has no power to impose a settlement – responsibility for all decisions and outcomes remains with the parties. The mediator will not advise you or the other party about the best option, nor can the mediator protect or promote your individual interests, or that of the other party.
It is important to note that Mediation is rarely about compromise: it is about finding ways to meet your needs and the needs of the other party and has been a very successful innovation in recent decades in the hands of well trained professionals.
Clinical Psychologist and is a trained (MBA)
Martin Walsh first trained, registered and practiced as a Clinical Psychologist and is a trained (MBA) and experienced Senior Manager and a trained (LEADR) and experienced Mediator: he is very skilled and experienced in helping others to manage their emotions and their options in life.