Conflict, whether in the workplace, or student-teacher concerns, can be effectively resolved, and working relationships restored, through a process known as mediation.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a problem-solving process. It provides a way for two or more people to solve problems by talking to one another in a safe and controlled environment. Disputants discuss their viewpoints, including how they have been harmed or offended, and then work toward an agreement for solving the problem or conflict. A neutral third person, known as the mediator, facilitates the discussion by helping both parties communicate what is important to them. Mediators are neutral to the conflict - they do not take sides nor do they determine how problems should be solved.
What happens in mediation?
The mediator guides disputants through a process of communicating and listening to needs and interests. The mediator facilitates the search for ways to solve the problem based on these needs and interests. The mediator encourages a give-and-take movement between the disputants, with a win-win outcome as the ultimate goal.
What are the benefits of mediation?
- The people experiencing the problem are the people solving the problem;
- Early intervention often halts the damaging effects of escalating conflict;
- It produces solutions which meet individual specific needs;
- The solutions are private and confidential;
- It can build or restore working relationships;
- It teaches a process for resolving future conflicts;
- It promotes understanding between people and (re)builds trust.
Mediation and the Ombudsperson
Due to the confidential and impartial nature of the Ombuds Office, the Ombudsperson is often an ideal mediator. If you are interested in discussing if mediation is appropriate for your situation, please contact the Ombuds Office.