What is Mediation? Mediation is as old as civilisation. It is based on ancient moral codes, such as the Shona code in parts of Africa, the ADAT code in Indonesia, and indeed on Brehon Laws, preceding what we now regard as the ultimate dispute resolution, the Courts. You know how we all like our day in court!
But are the courts the best way for us to resolve our conflicts? Think about it. You have an issue, you tell it to your solicitor, he tells it to another solicitor who communicates it to the other disputant. Solicitors may try to resolve the matter, but their focus is on what your rights are in the matter, what is legal. Your focus may be on what your needs are.
If the case goes to court, a public arena, your solicitor now tells the story to a Barrister, who goes into court to tell it to a Judge, who addresses it to the Barrister for the other party. Ultimately the matter is resolved, with one winner, one loser, neither party having really had their say, and the story hardly ever properly emerging. Relationships are in ruins and there is a large bill. It is possible that neither party can be said to be happy with the outcome.
Mediation changes all this. What is mediation? In mediation, parties tell their own story, are heard, get to the heart of the matter, change perceptions, challenge misperceptions and perhaps repair relationships. Mediation is flexible, efficient, cost effective, confidential and self determined. Outcomes can be road tested, converted to contract, or enacted as the parties decide. This is where people can really have their day in “court”.
Mediation can bring about Win Win resolutions – it is well worth the effort!