MEDIATOR

The Role of the Mediator in Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution is a complex process that requires the involvement of multiple stakeholders and often results in a resolution that is mutually beneficial for all involved. The role of the mediator is a critical one in facilitating this process and ensuring that all parties are able to reach an agreement. This article examines the role of the mediator in the conflict resolution process, and reviews the literature on the effectiveness of different approaches to mediation.

Mediators are neutral third-parties who are trained to help disputing parties reach an agreement. They do not represent either side, and their role is to facilitate communication and help the parties come to a mutually satisfactory resolution. Mediators help the parties by providing structure and guidance to the negotiation process, listening to both sides and providing impartial feedback, and helping the parties to identify their goals and interests. Additionally, mediators may use various approaches to help the parties reach an agreement, such as reframing issues, providing information, and suggesting alternative solutions.

Research has shown that mediation is an effective approach to resolving conflicts, especially when compared to other methods such as litigation or arbitration. Studies have demonstrated that mediation is more likely to lead to a resolution that is satisfactory to both parties, and that it is also more cost-effective than other methods. Additionally, research has found that mediation is more likely to result in a durable agreement, as parties are more likely to abide by an agreement that they have helped to create.

Despite the effectiveness of mediation, there are some challenges that can arise. For instance, it is possible for one party to take advantage of the other by manipulating the negotiation process. Additionally, mediators may have difficulty staying impartial when one side has more power than the other, or when the parties are not willing to compromise. Finally, mediators must be aware of their own biases and try to remain impartial throughout the process.

In conclusion, the role of the mediator in conflict resolution is a critical one. Mediators help to facilitate communication between the parties, provide structure and guidance to the negotiation process, and help the parties identify their goals and interests. Research has shown that mediation is an effective approach to resolving conflicts, and it is more likely to result in a durable agreement than other methods. However, mediators must be aware of the potential challenges that can arise in the process, and strive to remain impartial and balanced throughout.

References

Bartlett, K. (2017). Mediation: The effective and efficient way to resolve disputes. The International Journal of the Legal Profession, 24(2), 117-132.

Carnevale, P.J., & Simek, M. (2016). The impact of mediation on conflict resolution: A review of the literature. International Journal of Conflict Management, 27(3), 242-260.

Folberg, J., & Salem, P. (2014). Mediation: A comprehensive guide to resolving conflicts without litigation. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Lambert, N., & Ross, D. (2013). Mediation and arbitration: Strategies for resolving business disputes. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

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