Mediation is a process for resolving disputes wherein an intermediary helps the conflicting parties to jointly resolve their concerns.

Each mediation situation unfolds differently because the parties have specific disagreements and concerns.  Mediators, however, can be instrumental in steering the process to a successful outcome, but remain impartial and detached from the outcome.  The parties are the active participants and do the work that leads to real solutions and to the subsequent making of decisions.

The prominent feature of mediation is having a dialogue that broadens the parties’ understanding of their dispute.  The process is effective because listening to each other gives rise to a cooperative environment which is conducive to problem solving.  Mediation works best when the parties to the dispute realize that continuing their dispute may have costly implications and the parties are ready to end the conflict by moving towards an amicable solution.

There are three possible outcomes to a mediation session: resolution, further mediation or termination.  The parties can voluntarily determine which is the appropriate outcome.

Dr. Mixie is a Certified Professional Mediator specializing in conflict resolution for business and family.