Mediation may be defined as the intervention by the third party in order to make relationships between two parties better or solve disagreements between them. Its main characteristic is that the mediator – the person who tries to solve a conflict – is not included in that conflict. Mediation is a skill that can be learned and it is useful in many life and work situations.
Generally speaking, there are three types of mediation or, as the professionals in the area call them, mediation styles. Those are:
- facilitative mediation, in which the mediator attempts to help conflicted parties reach a solution that works for both of them without giving his opinion and advices
- evaluative mediation, in which the mediator tries to explain the possible outcome if parties continue their behavior and points out to the flaws in their arguments
- transformative mediation focuses on empowering the parties and giving them the chance to recognize the needs of the other party
For this article we will focus on the second mediation style, since it is the most often used in business terms and law agreements.
Is there need for mediation in business?
Mediation is relatively new approach to solving problems between the employer and employee, or between two employees. Having a trained person who will approach the problem in the objective way has turned out to be very beneficial. Of course, if the mediation process starts only when there’s a serious problem, it might be too late. The purpose of mediation in business is to improve the quality of human relations, to solve any minor problems so they don’t escalate into big ones and to create an environment in which people will be able to speak openly and know they’ll be heard.
The main goal is great communication which is the reason for most of the problems that occur between people within the company. Increasing communication leads to more efficient use of time, higher creativity and productivity.
Any company that cares about its employees should consider having a mediator. Even the process of hiring a mediator shows people that they are important to the company. The mediator can be hired full-time, or come to the company occasionally, which mostly depends on the size of the company. In any case, the process of finding a mediator shouldn’t be hard, it’s a lot less expensive than hiring a lawyer and the results are much better.