order for the mediation process to function effectively, the parties must
communicate openly and honestly.
case is usually appropriate for mediation when relationships are strained
continue. Poor communication is often apparent and a skilled neutral third
party is needed to facilitate communication. The intervention of a third
is likely to change the dynamics of the interaction of the disputants.
parties are often interested in retaining control of the outcome.
may be appropriate when:
are having difficulties resolving the dispute because of lack of conflict
resolution skills or because of resistance to confronting, or being
confronted by, the other party. The mediaton
can help by clarifying productive steps
for problem solving and by providing a
neutral, non-threatening environment for discussion.
are strong psychological or relationship
barriers to negotiating a resolution.
Mediators can play an intermediary
and conciliatory role between
the parties. Mediators are trained to
handle emotional barriers to settlement, problems
of misperception, or poor communication.
would be otherwise unwilling to meet
face-to-face to discuss the dispute.
preservation of a working relationship is important. Many conflicts
in the context of an ongoing relationship. Amutual agreement to a
dispute, in which the parties maintain control of the outcome and
decision, is always preferable to a decision imposed by a third party.
mediation process frequently repairs or builds new working relationships
that are critical to the success of ongoing work.
Department of Commerce, Office of Civil Rights, 1401 Constitution Ave.,
NW, Washington, D.C. 20230
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Friday, January 24, 2003