From conflict to conversation
Mediation is a process of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in which one or more impartial mediators assist parties in having a conversation about their issues/conflicts.
Mediators help parties discuss their differences, increase their clarity and understanding of the situation, hear new information, listen to each other, identify choices and resources, and make decisions about their dispute.
Mediators do not make decisions for the parties, they do not give advice, and they have no stake in the outcome or agreements between the parties. Their role is not to judge or evaluate, but to serve as facilitators of a difficult conversation. At the end of the mediation, the mediators can assist the parties in preparing a summary of their decisions, a Parenting Plan, or other informal agreement-documents that the parties may find helpful.
Mediation is voluntary and either party may choose to discontinue the process at any time. Any decisions made during a mediation are up to each party. All mediation at the CRC is strictly confidential; mediators and staff are bound by professional confidentiality standards. Confidentiality between the parties is determined by the parties at the mediation table.
Our mediators respect the parties' abilities, needs, emotions and autonomy to make their own choices and decisions that best fit their situation.
What Transformative Mediation can do:
- Mediators work with parties in conflict to help them change the quality of their interactions from negative and destructive to positive and constructive.
- Improve working and personal relationships by focusing on the needs and goals of each party and helping the parties see past their differences
- Facilitate an informal conversation between people in conflict where the mediators look for opportunities to help parties say what they need to say and hear what they need to hear
- Place all of the decision-making power in the hands of the parties; the parties discuss what is most important to them and determine their own solutions - Decrease hostility between the parties and increase the parties' long-term satisfaction with their interactions and any agreements reached at the mediation table - Create a collaborative and trusting atmosphere between the parties where difficult and complex decisions can be made by the parties and not by a judge or jury
Situations where Mediation can be Successful:
- Employment and workplace conflicts – supervisor/supervisee, co-workers, manager/work-team
- Family conflicts - divorce, child custody and visitation, parenting issues
- Roommate conflicts
- Special Education Issues
- School conflicts
- Landlord-Tenant disputes
- Community/Neighborhood conflicts
- Estate and Will contests
- Elder Care Issues
The Conflict Resolution Center mediators practice from the Transformative Framework. The transformative framework was first articulated by Robert A. Baruch Bush and Joseph P. Folger in The Promise of Mediation in 1994. Since then, transformative theory and practice has grown and is used in mediation, facilitation, and conflict management training all over the world.
In the transformative view, conflict is primarily about human interaction rather than "violations of rights" or "conflicts of interest". Conflict is part of the basic dynamic of human interaction in which people struggle to balance concern for self with connections to others. When this balance is upset, human interaction becomes alienated and destructive, simply put there is a crisis in human interaction. Click here to connect with the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and to learn more about Transformative Mediation.