Mediation is a way of resolving conflict that allows the parties to craft an agreement that will benefit both of them and avoid conflict occurring in the future.
What is meditation?
The mediator’s role
During the mediation, the mediator will remain impartial and non-judgemental. Their role is to facilitate the process of issue clarification, communication and problem solving, and they work to ensure the parties are free to negotiate collaboratively without fear or coercion affecting their ability to reach an acceptable agreement.
The party’s role
The parties are responsible for resolving their dispute, and they have an obligation to provide full and frank disclosure. Any information you disclose is treated confidentially and cannot later be used in a court. Mediation allows you to:
- Raise issues
- Listen to the other party
- Be clear on what you can give and take
- Focus on the future
- Show you are prepared to reach a reasonable agreement, if this can be done
- Be willing to express regret or apologise, if this is appropriate.
The mediator will contact both parties to complete mediation intake. The mediation intake will be conducted separately with each party. During the mediation intake, the mediator will:
- Outline the mediation process
- Ask questions to gain an understanding of your issues and willingness to mediate
- Give you the opportunity to ask questions.
Mediation intake also allows the mediator to determine if mediation is appropriate and prepare each party for mediation.
Prior to the mediation, the mediator will also provide parties with a mediation agreement that will outline confidentiality provisions and list the time and venue for the mediation.
The mediator and parties must sign this document before the mediation can take place.
When mediation commences, the process has a number of stages:
- Opening statement from the mediator: the mediator will describe the process, discuss confidentiality and remind parties that the process is voluntary and that they can ask for a break at any time. The mediator will also outline appropriate behaviour during the mediation
- Parties’ statements: each party will be given the opportunity to outline the issues they believe have led to the conflict
- Summaries of issues: the mediator will summarise the issues mentioned by each party to ensure their views have been accurately captured
- Development of an agenda: the mediator, with the parties, will develop an agenda that incorporates the issues the parties have raised
- Exploration of topics: the mediator will encourage the parties to discuss each item on the agenda to ensure all issues are thoroughly canvassed
- Private sessions: the mediator will meet with each party separately to check on their progress and to encourage them to develop options to resolve their issues. Nothing that is discussed in these sessions will be disclosed to the other party. You can ask for a private session at any time
- Joint negotiation sessions: both parties offer their options to resolve the conflict. The mediator will assist you to reality-test options and will document these when appropriate
- Agreement and closure: parties develop an agreement.
You can take a break at any time or for any purpose.
Mediation is a confidential process with the exclusion of any sharing of information agreed by both parties.
The mediator will keep the content of the mediation confidential in all other circumstances, unless required by a court of law or the professional obligations below.
The mediator has an obligation to inform appropriate authorities about any credible disclosure of:
- Child abuse
- Disclosures relating to a serious threat to another person or property
- Threats of self-harm.
Terminating the mediation
Any party can end the mediation at any time for any reason.
Release of information
The mediator may only release information at the end of the mediation in accordance with instructions agreed to by both parties. For example, the mediator may write up and email the points of agreement from your mediation session.
Neutrality and conflict of interest
The mediator must be neutral and impartial, which means they do not show bias in their words or behaviour towards you or the other party.
The mediator must disclose and discuss with you any real or potential conflict of interest that they become aware of and you should immediately raise any concerns you have; for example, if you believe the mediator will get a benefit from a specific outcome from the mediation.
The mediator will make every effort to ensure both parties understand the implications and consequences of available options, such as taking legal action. You must tell the mediator if you don’t understand something.
You can request the presence or time out to speak with your advisors.
Making your agreement legally binding
An unsigned agreement reached during mediation is not legally binding. You should get legal advice regarding making the agreement legally binding.
Storage and disposal of records
profitableresolutions does not store notes and records from mediation with the exception of:
- The agreement to mediate and any documents attached to it as indicated below
- Any court orders or other documents you supply during the intake process
- Any agreement reached during the mediation that you’ve asked the mediator to document.
There is a formal complaints process is available if you believe the mediator has breached any of these guidelines. The first step in the process is to email firstname.lastname@example.org
For a comprehensive list of FAQs for our mediation and conflict coaching processes