The Nature of Mediation

Johanna Heidgen posted 3 years ago, 1 Responses
In general, the mediator is not expected to make decisions
(the mediator) supports the conflict parties in their quest to find a resolution
 the mediator can also be of a biased nature and push the parties in specific directions, see international conflicts and the impact of organizations that may have contracted the mediator
Even though this does not go along with the original idea of what mediation shall look like, it is still written by life itself

purpose of conflict settlement or conflict prevention
a written agreement is often targeted to be the final result
suggest this document to be prepared and written down by the disputants themselves (so they are responsible for its implementation)

nature of what we understand by mediation, the conflict partners (disputants) target on resolving the conflict in an amicable and non-escalated way
conflict and armed escalation often a strategically planned fragment of a war’s master plan
The mediation process can also be misused by one party to obtain background information or to seed confusion
Accordingly, nobody can predict the proper outcome of such a procedure

The goal of mediation is to create room for the understanding of the other party 
create a long-lasting settlement 
not only work on the current state of the conflict, but also unveil the needs hidden behind the individual viewpoints
In a mediation process, the statements of the participants should never be evaluated or criticized
process managing mediator is not responsible for the content of a final agreement
has to make sure that the agreement does not contain legal inconsistencies

By remodelling of a conflict situation, parties unearth the personal needs behind the conflict
uncovering the conflicting background
Thanks to the individual presentation of the factual situation by the disputants and thanks to the mediator asking selected questions challenging the perception of both parties
paves the way for the recognition and exposure of the core conflict -> crucial part of preparing a satisfactory outcome

Circle of trust: fair exchange of information and treatment
Judging statements: Mediator leaves neutral position and influences procedure content-wise
Mediator needs to deep listen to conflict history 
Mediator needs to understand, if others are involved or having an influence on the conflict’s creation & development
Important for analysing and understanding the conflict 

To adopt a conflict into a static stage model of conflict resolution rather carries the risk that it ends without a satisfactory result, it might just collapse
However, by creating customized strategic steps towards a level of mutual respect a satisfactory solution is more certain
Belief of flexibility - make use of a core concept based on logical understanding of the circumstance of conflict

Each meditation process is unique and will never repeat itself nor agree with a chosen type of agenda 
We don’t focus on having a mind full of concepts, but a mindful observation of its nature 

8.  Summary

Disputants and mediator targets on unveiling background information -> that paves the way to harmony
Mediator needs deep listening skills to unveil hidden necessities, that lie behind general statements
Mediator should be flexible in adopting his/her skills to the conflict and not vice versa
Each conflict is unique and requires an open-minded treatment

➤ TASK: Please sum this section up and state if you already used or witnessed some of the listed points in an unconscious way. Additionally, develop a proper guideline that shows your understanding of a logical procedure in mediation.


Deep listening to both versions of both parties of the conflict
Keeping a neutral position, listening, no opinion
Making room for understanding
Unveiling the background needs of each party
Recognizing and exposing the core conflict
Analyzing and understanding the conflict (exposing if others are involved)
Pushing both parties into resolving the conflict
No static stage model, use natural core concepts with flexibility
Mindful observation instead of a mind full of concepts
Written agreement to settle the conflict (created by both parties together)

Dear Johanna,

thank you for this feedback and summary. I hope and guess that summing the content up and reflecting once more on its impact and meaning will help you to create a solid but flexible basis or foundation of what we are talking.

BR, Daniel