Mediation is a negotiation process used to reach a settlement between two parties. To successfully meditate, overcoming inherent prejudices is one of the biggest challenges.
The purpose of mediation
Mediation helps resolve conflicts. Usually used in a legal environment, mediation can help you avoid litigation and expensive court fees. It can also help you solve problems faster while maintaining interpersonal relationships, all in a confidential environment.
Some situations that may require mediation include but are not limited to:
- Contract disputes may occur between employers and employees, landlords and tenants, or between any number of parties to the contract.
- Marriage disputes, which also include separation or divorce issues. For example, some couples prefer to reach a settlement rather than divorce through court proceedings.
- Child supervision, which may bring pressure, but it is best that both parties are willing to put the children’s needs before their own needs.
- Tax disputes, if you disagree with the decision of the IRS. The mediation process can be used to simplify the appeal process.
Although these are valid reasons for introducing meditators, meditation can be used to resolve any differences that cannot be resolved between the two parties. Government leaders, employees, and even brothers and sisters may need a mediator to intervene at some point.
How the process works
When an agreement is reached on meditation in a legal environment, both parties must sign an agreement. Although there are different mediation methods that can be used according to the situation and circumstances, there is no direct guidance. Mediation is just a tool.
Different types of mediation can be used, all of which have pros and cons.
Mediators often use this method to make recommendations based on legal fairness. They may point out weaknesses and make recommendations based on what they think the judge or jury will make. This type of mediation is often used for court-authorized mediation. Unlike transformative mediation, evaluative mediation is less focused on promoting stronger communication between the two parties.
This is the most recent style introduced in the 1990s. It focuses on empowering the two parties to better handle conflicts, rather than simply reaching a solution. Through this style, the mediator can allow both parties to take the lead and take more responsibility in the process. Although this is beneficial to the parties in the long run, it will prevent them from reaching a fair solution.
This style uses the method of storytelling for mediation. Both parties have the opportunity to share their stories and allow the mediator to put forward new points for consideration by both parties. The challenge here is to carefully avoid labels and ensure that both parties achieve the same satisfactory results.
The role of a mediator
The mediator is committed to guiding the two parties to resolve the issue. Unlike arbitrators who act impartially to help make decisions on behalf of both parties, mediators do not make binding decisions.
During the mediation process, the mediator will raise questions, make suggestions, provide procedures, make explanations, explain key issues or put forward new points of view, in order to promote effective communication, understanding and agreement between the two parties. The mediator must use creative problem-solving techniques to resolve the conflict.
Although certain styles can be used, a good mediator will recognize the needs and skills of individual parties and adjust their style to best suit them.
As a mediator, one of the most challenging and critical aspects is to recognize and minimize personal prejudice, prejudice, and favoritism. Implicit prejudice, automatic associations between stereotypes and attitudes (based on gender, race, identity, sexual orientation, etc.) may occur, which is why mediators must actively participate in strategies to reduce prejudice in order to become successful meditators.
“If you want to, you can learn the ability to empathize with emotional intelligence, which is essential to becoming a mediator,” said Mary Joye of LMH, a licensed consultant and family court mediator.
How to avoid prejudice in mediation
There are many different definitions of neutrality in meditation. One of them is that it is recommended that the mediator should not have any interest in the subject matter, have no undisclosed relationship with the parties, and have no possibility of seeking personal gain.
By remaining neutral, prejudice should inevitably be avoided. The best and most skilled mediators should know how to identify and resolve conflicts without letting their prejudices or prejudices intervene, but is this even possible?
Unfortunately, we have all experienced implicit prejudice, which occurs involuntarily and generates unconscious associations, beliefs, or attitudes about individuals based on certain aspects (such as race, gender, socioeconomic background, or sexual orientation). Because our brain is dedicated to simplifying the world, we automatically make associations based on preconceived knowledge.
The good news is that we can forget about implicit biases, which are essential for mediators who wish to act as neutral parties.
Although there are many different types of biases, including cognitive biases and negative biases, mediators should not show personal preference during the mediation process, which means that they should ignore all forms of bias.
A report by Penn State Journal of Law & International Affairs shows that in international mediation, biased mediators outperform neutral mediators, but mediators should remain neutral based on their moral responsibility.
Strategies to avoid prejudice
“Finding common ground and focusing on solutions rather than problems helps resolve disputes with dignity and integrity, and allows both parties to listen to opinions without interference,” Joey said.
She said: “If you need to understand how this person thinks from their point of view instead of yours, please listen actively and take notes.” “Your opinions and conclusions must be set aside.”
In order to avoid prejudice and provide effective mediation, mediators must use creative problem-solving skills and actively practice strategies to reduce prejudice. The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology conducted a 12-week study and found that implicit bias can be reduced by increasing awareness of bias.
“Mediators are mediators, not manipulators. They allow people with the opposite view to tell the truth about what they believe to be without an agenda,” Joey said. “The best way to avoid huge conflicts is to never raise your voice, interrupt or talk about others, because this will cause anger.”
Very good sentence
Mediation methods have been used for thousands of years, often across different cultures, languages, and countries to resolve conflicts. Although mediation can be informal or formal, it is used in many ways in our country.
In order to better understand each party’s point of view, it is important that the mediator listen carefully and thoughtfully and give each party the opportunity to express their opinions.