The 6 Main Phases Of Mediation, Explained

Phases of mediation.

We understand mediation as a method of conflict resolution whose main objective is to improve relationships between the people involved.

In this article We will talk about the phases of mediation and what processes take place in them.

What does mediation consist of?

Mediation, as a method of conflict management and resolution, has been and is a constant practice in our communities, societies and cultures. It is an effective tool used to negotiate between adverse parties, in the presence of a third, neutral party whose role is to facilitate communication and the search for solutions.

The purpose of mediation is not to determine who is right or wrong when a conflict exists, but to help resolve it. The key to mediation is to give the opportunity and prominence to each of the parties so that they can manage and reach an effective resolution of the conflict The objective, therefore, is not only to reach an agreement, but also how it is worked and what means the parties use to achieve it.

Mediation means, ultimately, an attempt to help people communicate and understand each other in a different way, with the intention of broadening your perception of the problem. Being able to understand how the problem affects or how the other person feels is essential, regardless of whether or not it is possible to reach specific agreements.

For a mediation process to be effective from the beginning, the participation of the parties must be voluntary and the person who acts as mediator must be properly trained and educated.

The figure of the mediator

The mediator is the key figure in mediation and is the person who helps build trust between the parties and throughout the process.

It is the figure of the mediator that helps the parties in conflict interact with each other, so that they understand each other and can work together, in a completely different way than they had been doing it until that moment. Its task is, essentially, to propose procedures for searching for solutions.

In order to carry out the task of mediation, it is necessary to have a series of qualities, such as be objective and empathetic, to get an idea of ​​the position of both parties; or be impartial and gain the trust of both, so that the mediator abstracts from his personal opinions and directs the solution of the conflict based on the needs of the parties and not his own.

You may be interested:  Why is Stoicism in Fashion?

Phases or stages of mediation

The mediation process must include a series of stages through which every mediator and every party in conflict must go through

There are two main differentiated phases; a first interview with each of the parties involved in the conflict; and a second phase, once both parties agree to proceed with mediation, in which they already meet, communicate, and conflict resolution begins.

1. Premediation phase

The objective of this first phase of mediation, which consists of interviewing the parties, is obtain information about the conflict, convey confidence and allow a space for relief so that the ground can be paved for a final meeting.

The rest of the stages in this phase would be the same as in the mediation phase: the presentation or framing, the description of what happened, the clarification of the problem, the search for solutions and, finally, the agreement. In this case, the final agreement consists of the person agreeing to participate in the next phase of mediation.

2. Meeting or mediation phase

The meeting or mediation phase is the most important stage of the entire process, since It is in this phase that the parties present the problem and describe what happened in order to clarify the conflict and seek solutions.

Let’s see what are the stages included in the meeting or mediation phase:

2.1. Presentation or framing

In the presentation or framing, the goal is to create trust in the mediation process. The mediator is responsible for explaining how it will be developed (objectives, expectations, role of the mediator and the parties in conflict, etc.), remembering the importance of confidentiality and their collaboration, in addition to clarify the basic rules of participation

In this first phase, it is particularly convenient to inform the parties that good communication requires minimum requirements (that there are no interruptions, that they make an effort to understand each other, that there is adequate communication, etc.), so that if these are met, It will facilitate a faster and more effective search for solutions, in the same way that if they do not do so, it is very likely that the situation will worsen.

Starting the meeting by reminding the parties what mediation consists of is important, since; On the one hand, we point out to them that to solve a problem another way of interacting is necessary, and that the figure of the mediator is there to facilitate communication, so that they can resolve the conflict; and on the other hand, that The mediator will serve as a model of interaction understanding that what is relevant is not so much the content of what is said, but rather the tone and form of the speech.

You may be interested:  Narcissistic Families: 21 Characteristics and How to Recognize Them

2.2. Description of what happened by the parties in conflict

In this second stage of the mediation phase, each of the parties will be able to present their version of the conflict and will have the opportunity to express what they think and how they feel about it.

This moment is ideal for each of them to realize that they are heard and can vent. Therefore, it is important for the mediator to generate a relaxed atmosphere and, above all, to manage the exchange of messages.

The mediator must ensure that the parties respect the turn to intervene, trying to get them to actively listen and empathize with the opposing party It should also help put the most relevant issues of the conflict on the table (without passing value judgments or giving advice), paying attention to both the content and the relationship between the parties.

23. Clarification of the problem

In this phase of mediation, the figure of the mediator is key, since he seeks to identify what the conflict consists of in order to try to reach a consensus on the most important issues for both parties. Mutual agreement on the issues to be discussed must be ensured, so that progress can be made towards a solution to the conflict.

Furthermore, the mediator will have to achieve a consensual version of the problem, mainly exploring the interests that underlie each person’s positions and directing the dialogue in terms of interests (a key point to be able to adequately resolve the conflict).

This stage is of great relevance, given that thanks to the questions asked by the mediator and the parties They will be aware that there are several points of view or approaches to the same problem thus facilitating the resolution of the conflict.

Likewise, and as we have pointed out previously, if each party presents its interests first and then its positions, it will be easier for the opposing party to be receptive to them.

Ultimately, the objective of this phase is: to identify the interests, needs and feelings of both parties; understand the other’s position empathically; and try to highlight the common elements in the perception of the conflict, highlighting the importance for both parties of reaching an agreement.

You may be interested:  Equity Theory: What it is and What it Says About Relationships

2.4. Search for solutions

In this phase, the most relevant issues are discussed and possible ways of solution and meeting are sought. Mediators must facilitate creativity in the search for ideas or solutions (through techniques such as brainstorming, creative visualization, etc.), analyzing what each party is willing to do and what it asks of the opposing party, request that they evaluate each of the possible solutions and request their agreement with each of the proposals

In this phase it is very important that adequate communication skills are mastered. At this point in the mediation process, each party will visualize the fact of seeing that the opposing person, who until that moment was their adversary, has become an ally with whom they can communicate correctly and has made concessions, which will facilitate The concerned party also modifies its behavior in order to maintain the new situation that benefits everyone.

2.5. Agreement

Finally, in this last stage of mediation, which is the agreement phase, the mediator must help the parties evaluate the proposals, as well as their pros and cons, until they can decide on one of them. In addition, You have to help them clearly define the agreement seeking for it to be balanced, realistic, concrete, possible and clear, accepted by all, evaluable and left in writing.

The parties must commit to comply with what they have agreed to and must sign it The mediator should be satisfied if the parties have been able to establish communication, even if they have not finally been able to reach specific agreements or, for some reason, have not wanted to put it in writing with their signature.

Even on occasions when agreement has been impossible, mediation will have served as training to implement other types of communication skills, as well as to improve the relationship between people.

Rules in a mediation process

During a mediation it is necessary to follow a series of basic rules so that the process runs normally.

Let’s see 10 rules that all mediation must comply: