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What Is Mediation?

Mediation is an interactive procedure where two or more parties discuss their disputes with assistance from an impartial third party to reach an amicable resolution.

Deeper Definition

Mediation is a structured settlement procedure that brings warring parties to the discussion table, with a mutually selected impartial third party to assist them in sorting out their differences. When warring parties meet to resolve an issue, things can turn ugly quickly if there is no entity serving as a supervisor.

The third party in mediation is known as a Mediator. For mediation to go smoothly, the mediator must be someone without bias for any of the parties at loggerheads. The mediator has to be someone who is a good listener, skilled in human dynamics, and has a good knowledge of negotiation techniques.

The job of a mediator is not to decide who is right or what is fair. Neither is it to render a resolution to the conflict. Instead, the mediator should eliminate obstacles to communication and guide the process in a constructive direction that helps the disputing parties agree on a way forward. 

Usually, the likelihood of compliance with a mediated settlement is high. That is because settlements in mediation are never imposed on disputants. In fact, parties involved in mediation can, at any point in time, decide to terminate the process. Since settlements are reached on their volition, disputants may not have issues complying.

Mediation is applicable in most cases where there is a dispute between two or more parties. Essentially, mediation refers to any situation where a third party steps in to facilitate a resolution between warring parties.

Mediation Example 

Billy and Jane used to be two inseparable lovebirds when they were living separately. However, since Jane moved in permanently with Billy, the two have been fighting about one thing or another. Each time they try to resolve their issues, emotions get high and it leads to more fights. If care is not taken, Billy and Jane may end up breaking up. To avoid that, they can invite a mutual friend to be present the next time they want to discuss their differences. 

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