What is mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary process conducted confidentially in which a trained neutral person, known as a mediator, assists parties in working towards a negotiated agreement of a dispute or difference, with the parties themselves remaining in control of the decision to settle and the terms of any resolution.
How does mediation work?
- Helps people in a dispute or conflict to communicate with one another;
- Assists the parties involved in understanding each other;
- Encourages the parties involved to try and find common ground;
- Acknowledges and respects that each person will have their own point of view;
- Focuses on the underlying or real interests of the parties;
- Focuses on both the future and the past;
- Helps the parties to find creative solutions;
- Places the responsibility on the parties to decide the outcome;
- Assists the parties to reach agreements that satisfy everyone's needs.
What happens after the mediation?
- If the parties agree to settle, an agreement may be signed; which will be legally enforceable as a contract;
- If the parties do not agree to settle, they are free to explore additional dispute resolution processes or seek a decision from the United Nations Tribunals.
Key elements of mediation:
Benefits of mediation
Mediation has a number of advantages over litigation processes:
Range of conflict or disputes- Many kinds of conflicts can be resolved successfully through mediation;
Successful- Organizations that use mediation achieve settlement rates of over 70% and participants give satisfaction ratings of over 85% even if settlement is not achieved.
Quick- Mediation can be arranged quickly and if the parties are available, the formal mediation process usually lasts for one or two days only;
Informal- The purpose of mediation is to resolve cases between management and employees and between colleagues of equal or similar rank in an informal setting;
Time efficient- Mediation reduces the amount of time management needs to spend dealing with conflict or disputes in the workplace;
Stress reducing– Mediation cuts down on employee stress and improves workplace environment for all colleagues associated with the parties;
Harmonizing– Mediation can help to maintain harmonious or to repair dysfunctional office and working relationships;
Empowering– Mediation gives parties control over the process and the outcome;
Wide ranging settlements- A wide variety of settlement options can be achieved in mediation over and above monetary settlements.
For further information about mediation please contact UN Ombudsman and Mediation Services.