Mediation is an extrajudicial process for the constructive handling of conflicts, in which a neutral third party - mediator - supports the conflicting parties (clients) in finding their own solutions to the problem.
Mediation is used in different areas of life. Examples include:
- Teacher-student conflicts (kindergarten, schools);
- Neighbourhoods (e.g. Housing associations, landlord-tenants, neighbours);
- Companies (internally as well as between companies)
It is important that the mediator does not make decisions but offers the platform to deal with the conflict.
- Voluntary - in the situation means that every client can decide whether he/she wants to join in or, if it has already started, wants to continue or not.
- Mediation is open-ended - the mediators choose the path themselves within the procedure and the result cannot be predicted.
- Responsible - the clients are responsible for the result.
- Equal - are the clients in the entire procedure. However, this does not mean that the individual levels or positions, e.g. in a company doesn't exist. Only within mediation do clients have the same say.
- Confidential - as everything being addressed in mediation is kept confidential and everyone is obliged to comply with it. Only what the clients have decided among themselves is carried outside.
- All-party - means that the mediator is not only neutral, but everyone feels understood equally.
- Awareness - means that everyone mediates in everything that is important for the mediation process and conflict.
- Targeted - means that mediation works towards solutions to defined problems. It also needs to be possible within a realistic time frame.
- Commitment - the clients commit themselves to implement the results. However, this does not mean that the results are always enforceable in court.
In these points mentioned above, mediation is very different from other procedures in which, among other things, a third party - for example a judge - decides who is right and who is wrong, and therefore who needs to pay and who gets the money. However, there is another sub-item regarding costs on the website.
While simple procedures relate more to the factual level and consider the problem situation, mediation addresses the needs and interests of the individual conflict parties and thus solves the problem at a much deeper level.
In the following pages I describe different areas of mediation.