aA conflict mediator is a person trained in resolving disputes. Alternative dispute resolution, also known as ADR, is a rapidly growing system of justice that depends on agreement. There are two types of ADR, arbitration and mediation. In arbitration, both sides agree to be bound by the decision of an arbitrator. In mediation, both parties seek to resolve their disputes with the aid of a conflict mediator who has undergone mediation training.
A dispute that heads for the traditional courtroom can take years to resolve, a time during which whatever the dispute is about goes unresolved. It can also cost a fortune. Mediation, conducted by a person who has undergone mediation training is often the best solution for all parties. A conflict mediator has one goal—to facilitate an agreement that is acceptable to both parties.
A Conflict Mediator is a Trained Professional
Anyone can flip a coin and call heads or tails. But that is no way to settle a dispute because only one side wins. A mediator is not simply a referee. He or she has gone through mediation training, a course of study that addresses all of the dynamics of interpersonal disputes. The training typically includes problem solving, dynamic listening and leadership skills.
What Kind of Disputes Can a Mediator Address?
There is virtually no limit to the kinds of disagreements that can benefit from the services of a mediator who has gone through mediation training. Here are but a few:
• Disputes between children. School is a breeding ground of misunderstandings that can erupt into serious problems.
• Marital disputes. A mediator can help a couple navigate the difficult waters of a marriage in trouble. If the ultimate goal is to end the marriage, mediation can be a better way of achieving that result than the all-or-nothing battle of a divorce lawsuit.
• Business disagreements. Bickering partners can mean the end of a business. A mediator can help the parties to resolve their problems and keep their livelihoods intact.
• Quarrels between neighbors. Whether it’s a barking dog, on overhanging tree limb or a bicycle left in a driveway, neighbors have encounters that can be solved in a civilized way. They can also become friendly neighbors. It takes a good mediator.
Mediation, conducted by a conflict mediator, can be the best way to handle disputes.