Mediation is birthed from conflict and it is something that we have all experienced. Some conflicts are worse than others but it is conflict nonetheless. Many of us refuse to believe that conflict exists; however, it is a part of our daily lives. We have conflicts in our homes, churches, workplace, and yes even with the people that are nearest and dearest to us. We are different people with different thought processes, life experiences, and coping mechanisms that allow or guide us in how we deal with conflict. However, the ways in which we process conflict have/can destroy our relationships as they so often do, but there is another option other than avoidance, litigation or denial.
WHAT IS MEDIATION?
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Mediation is an intervention between conflicting parties to promote reconciliation, settlement, or compromise.
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. According to the State of Tennessee website, Mediation is an informal process where a mediator helps disputants to reach an agreement by identifying important issues, clarifies misunderstandings, explores solutions, and negotiates settlements. The keyword here is informal because this process allows disputants the opportunity to hear and share their issues with a neutral third party who is required to maintain confidentiality in a safe environment. Moreover, mediation helps disputants not only to resolve conflicts but it allows them an opportunity to help choose the outcome of the dispute. In other words, the mediation process allows disputants an opportunity to make decisions that can strengthen a relationship, which in turn helps to build stronger relationships in their respective communities (family, friends, neighbors and the like). Mediation provides disputants an opportunity to communicate their emotional and relational aspects of the dispute that a formal courtroom setting does not provide. Mediation can help to resolve family disputes, disputes that arise within communities, victim-offender mediation, schools, governmental agencies, and even international matters.
WHY TRUST THE PROCESS?
The mediation process is new to many of us and truthfully when we are in conflict, whatever kind of dispute it may be, we want a third party whether it is a parent, friend, associate, judge, jury or even the mediator to make a decision that is favorable to us that says I win and you lose. That process is called win-lose and as humans, we value that system because it has been used to determine the “better” person. However, what if I told you that there is a process where both parties have an opportunity to win. This process allows disputants to express their issue(s) in a safe and neutral environment. Two key components of the mediation process are confidentiality and neutrality. Mediation provides a neutral and safe space that helps to promote more trust in the process. In addition, the disputants are the ones that will decide what their agreement will look like, which in turn provides them an opportunity to decide what they are willing to accept or reject.
HOW TO BEGIN
In order to resolve a conflict in a peaceful and sustainable manner, the conflict must be addressed. It is imperative to seek the guidance of a trained Mediator in order to help you work to a peaceful resolution. The Mediation process can be introduced to you through the court system, your family, place of worship, friends, coworker, or even social media.
Our Mediators are Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 Listed, which means that we are recognized by the court system. In addition, our mediators possess Graduate level degrees in Conflict Resolution, which helps to provide them with the education and skills needed to help you work through your current and future conflicts.