Mediation: A 4-Step-Approach to Solving Any Conflict – Part 3

Learn why a successful leader needs to have excellent mediation skills

In this third and final part of the article, we look at ways in which the mediator can bring the parties to move beyond reciprocal understanding, and actually formalize an agreement based on mutually agreed parameters.

Step 3 – Idea Finding

Finding out about the deeper motivations behind the conflict is a great step in the right direction, but awareness of the issues does not bring us closer to a solution. Now the proper conditions must be created for everybody to loosen up further and start becoming creative. To achieve this, the mediator will switch to being a moderator facilitating a brainstorming session.

Tip: Learn brainstorming techniques to successfully navigate this phase.

All judgment is suspended, everything goes, and nothing is binding. The more ideas the better, and this should all be done in a stimulating environment with everybody standing around a flipchart. The mediator’s assistant jots down ideas on moderating cards and hands them to the mediator, who pins them on the paperboard. When the space has been used up and the creative flow starts ebbing, ideas are clustered and rearranged with the agreement of all parties, until a handful of basic steps are distilled and identified as the sound basis for a settlement.

Tip: Use the interests on the first flipchart as starting points for ideas.

Step 4 – Conclusion

The last part of the mediation is dedicated to finalizing a written agreement, which is verified, approved, and signed by both parties. The champagne bottle can now be popped and everybody will genuinely celebrate the successful termination of a bitter joust that could have ended in extreme acrimony.

Calling an Expert

However, being a good leader also means knowing when the time has come to call for outside help. It would be irresponsible and foolish to attempt mediation when one is not impartial or too involved in the matter of the dispute. Professional mediators have experience and the added advantage of a fresh perspective on the issues at the heart of the disagreement.

Do you have on-going conflicts with associates, suppliers, or customers? Are you looking into an abyss of lawsuits and loss of productivity on account of an internal dispute that is out of control? Save money, time, and stress hormones, and opt for mediation now.

Practical Info:

  • Duration of an average mediation: 1-2 day(s)
  • Cost: Variable, but hourly fees are approx. £200-300 (€300-400) depending on the mediator’s level of experience
  • Credentials: A good mediator can demonstrate that he is certified and that he adheres to a code of ethics
  • Find a mediator: Jencquel Consulting +33 1 45 58 60 20
  • Where to train: One of the best spots in Europe is Tenos (Hamburg, Germany), provided you speak German. In the UK, the London School of Mediation also enjoys an excellent reputation