What is mediation actually?
I learned mediation in 2001 following the model of Christoph Besemer. Mediation is a way to settle conflicts with the support of an all-party third party. It is neither legal advice nor is it therapy. Mediation is a constructive method to settle disputes within the framework of the law. The advantage of mediation is that it permits the conflicting parties to bring more of their personal goals and wishes into the development of a solution. In contrast to a therapeutic approach, e.g. in couples’ therapy, the main focus is on the significance of the current situation with conflict resolution and solutions.
What conditions must be met for successful mediation?
Mediation is always helpful when the mediants are motivated and there is clarity about my role. I support the process, and the content is up to the conflict parties. My task is to identify common interests and goals, i.e. the “positive core” of a conflict. This is always achieved most quickly when it is clear to you that, while an amicable solution will not (or can not) satisfy all your wishes 100 percent, your relevant interests will be taken into account all the more. Based on this, you develop solutions that satisfy all sides in terms of content.
Your task is, above all, to consider what you will gain from an amicable resolution. And experience shows that this often involves more than “just” money, time savings or justice: namely a little more peace of mind and thus much more energy for the essentials in life: ….. What exactly that is, you yourself will know best.
Basic rules of the game:
- All parties participate in mediation voluntarily.
- I am accepted as a neutral third party.
- You want to resolve your conflict yourself, rather than insisting on your right under all circumstances.
- Communication is based on:
- Nonviolence in word and deed
- Listening without interruption
The phases of mediation:
In the preliminary phase I will introduce myself and discuss with you whether mediation is suitable as a method in your specific case. In a counselling interview, the central issues of mediation are determined, and the mediation contract is concluded.
Each side presents the situation to me from their point of view. The central topics are compiled into a list of the important sub-topics, which are sorted and “illuminated” one after the other.
Illumination phase or conflict exploration
In this phase, the background to the previously identified topics and the goals for the future are examined. I help clarify the needs, interests and wishes in a differentiated way. The complexity of the conflict becomes clear in this phase, and the first ideas for a solution emerge.
Finding a solution
Once all parties are familiar with and have evaluated each other’s interests on a new basis, proposals for solutions are collected. In this phase, I act as a devil’s advocate and constantly check with you how feasible your individual partial solutions are. All agreements are recorded in writing and will be reviewed again with me at a later date.