Mediation is a voluntary and confidential method of dispute resolution, conducted in the presence of a neutral and impartial person - the mediator. The purpose of mediation is not issuing a decision or determining of who is right, but to work out a solution satisfactory for all parties of the dispute.
Benefits of mediation:
- Mediation is an informal method. The participants have an impact not only on its course, but also on the result. An agreement reached as result of mediation is binding and its content is tailored to the capabilities and needs of the participants.
- The mediator helps participants to find common interests, understand each other's points of view and to focus on the problem and its solution, and not on the people who are in conflict.
- Mediation enables to improve future relations between people in conflict. For this reason, it is worth engaging in mediation where there are long-term interpersonal relations e.g. in case of family, labor, academic or commercial disputes.
- The mediator, by helping parties to go beyond existing stereotypes and limitations, helps them to start showing a creative approach to dispute resolution.
- The mediator helps the participants of the mediation to change the perception of the conflict - from position-based approach (consisting of formulating demands and positions) to an approach based on real needs and interests.
These basic principles contribute to the success of mediation:
Voluntariness – it is up to the parties to decide whether to participate in mediation. They may also resign from mediation at any time. If they opt for mediation, it means that they see sense in a conversation with participation of a neutral third party who has knowledge and professional experience in the field of dispute resolution.
Neutrality - the mediator cannot have any benefits out of possible solutions to the conflict. The effect of mediation depends on the parties. The mediator does not impose anything but helps to find as many possibilities to put an end to the dispute as possible and he guides towards selection of the optimal solution.
Impartiality - the mediator treats the parties equally and does not favor anyone. The mediator does not judge nor criticize the behavior or proposals made during the mediation.
Confidentiality - the mediator is obliged to keep in secret any information that has been revealed during mediation. The principle of confidentiality also applies to the mediator during private meetings with the parties, unless the parties exempt him from this obligation.