What is Mediation?
A basic definition of Mediation is that it is a structured process whereby an impartial third party(mediator) facilitates a conversation between two parties, usually in a dispute or in conflict to enable them to achieve a mutually satisfactory outcome.
A mediator will usually allocate a day to a mediation. The mediation process is divided into 3 parts, an initial consultation with parties individually, a short follow up meeting to prepare a statement and a joint session where parties directly address each other in dialogue facilitated by the mediator.
Suitability of Cases
The use of Mediation in the workplace is primarily focused on improving or maintaining a professional relationship for the immediate future/foreseeable future. Workplace mediation is usually used for interpersonal conflict situations between professionals. Usually this covers disputes between a line manager and a direct report, disputes within teams. Workplace mediation focuses on resolving a dispute to secure an ongoing professional relationship.
Find a Mediator
Mediators usually advertise their services online or through various professional directories. Depending on the nature of the dispute, you can opt to use an independent mediator i.e a solo practitioner or you can contact a mediation service provider to be allocated a mediator. This all depends on pricing and the type of dispute. Factors to check in using a mediator include, the professional background and expertise of the mediator, their awareness of the industry or work environment related to the dispute and wether the mediator has had some formal training to mediate disputes.
Average Cost of A Mediation
Community mediation services (mediation in relation to neighbour disputes) are usually free. Commercial mediations can often range from £800 - above depending on the mediator. Workplace mediation often has the same price ranges.
Parties in ongoing conflict usually find the process therapeutic. This is because mediation gives individuals a confidential platform to voice their concerns in a pragmatic and constructive manner. The process is less about 'having a chat' and more about mutually identifying a progressive way forward. This all depends on the parties present, if both parties decide to come to a settlement agreement they both agree terms to abide by. This can be included in a settlement and the parties decide wether or not they want to disclose the terms of the settlement. However there is no obligation to reach a settlement, the presence and commitment from parties is voluntary.