TECHNIQUES OF MEDIATION 4
Mediationhas been recognized as one of the most viable techniques of resolvingconflicts in the contemporary human society. It refers to a techniqueof negotiations or bargaining between two parties in which a thirdparty who is impartial facilitates or helps in reaching a settlementthat is not only voluntarily accepted by but also amenable to thedisputants. The beauty of the mediation process lies in the fact thatthe mediator never imposes solutions on the disputants rather, he orshe would encourage them to talk about their innermost fears,concerns and interests while giving them the opportunity to come upwith the possible solutions themselves (Jeong,2010).On the same note, he or she would give them the opportunity andcapacity to decide the most appropriate solutions for the dispute.Needless to say, there are varied techniques of mediation includinginterest-based mediation, transformative mediation and narrativemediation among others.
Transformativemediation has its basis as the values of maximum empowerment of theparties, as well as the recognition of each others’ values, needs,points of view and interests. Transformative mediation has thepotential to transform or modify the parties or even theirrelationships in the course of the negotiations (Doherty&Guyler, 2008).Of particular note is the fact that the mediators in transformativemediation meet all the stakeholders together as it is only in such acase that they can accord each other some recognition (Jeong,2010).Interest-based mediation, on the other hand, is based on the notionthat disputing parties have a high likelihood of reaching anagreement with which they all agree in instances where the mediationprocess meets their interests rather than having one position winingover the other (Doherty&Guyler, 2008).Narrative mediation encourages the disputants to tell theirperspective or personal story pertaining to the conflict, as well asreach an appropriate resolution via a profound comprehension of theirindividual stories’ context.
Needlessto say, narrative mediation technique has weaknesses and strengths.One of the key strengths is the fact that it recognizes that everyparty has a point of view or a perspective about the entire conflict.Indeed, one of the hallmarks of narrative mediation is engaging indouble listening where it acknowledges that individuals are alwayssituated in varied story lines. The mediation process is particularlycentered around the conflict-saturated narrative where theindividuals are usually stuck, as well as the alternative story outof which the disputants would prefer, if possible, to relate to eachother (Winslade&Monk, 2000).This always allows for compromise among the disputants and fastresolution of the conflict. In addition, narrative mediation allowsindividuals to take a step back and observe the conflict as thirdparties. This is referred to as externalization of conversations,which revolves around languages that make use of a language thattakes the relational ground between a conflict and person. Itestablishes the linguistic space through which individuals wouldnotice the conflicts’ effects instead of its causes and evaluatetheir feelings or attitudes towards the effects (Winslade&Monk, 2000).This, essentially, assists individuals to separate themselves fromthe conflict story while creating some space for other alternativestories to come up. It is also noted that externalizing conversationsallows individuals to get out of positions of shame and blame whileenabling them to save their faces through blaming the conflict forthe problems rather than heaping blame on the other party or eventhemselves (Winslade&Monk, 2000).
Doherty,N., & Guyler, M. (2008). Theessential guide to workplace mediation & conflict resolution:Rebuilding working relationships.London: Kogan Page.
Jeong,H.-W. (2010). Conflictmanagement and resolution: An introduction.London: Routledge.
Winslade,J., & Monk, G. (2000). Narrativemediation: A new approach to conflict resolution.San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.