So what is mediation?

Mediation is a non adversarial process where a neutral third party (the mediator) helps the disputants work through their grievances to reach a mutually satisfactory conclusion. A mediator helps disputing parties navigate choppy waters allowing them to  become 'unstuck' by unravelling the dispute and getting to the real underlying cause(s). The result is that the parties can then, hopefully , move on with their lives.

Mediation is an informal process, unlike a court hearing ,which is a rigid, arid process where the lawyers set out the case and speak on behalf of the parties using legal terminology. The mediator creates a safe space for each party to tell their side of the story in their own words . Everyone is heard. The parties are given agency to come to a resolution under the watchful and skilled eye of the mediator.

 

Of course, there is no guarantee of settlement , after all it is up to the disputing parties, but even when a dispute is not resolved, there will usually have been a shift in thinking as the parties will  have been encouraged by the mediator to spend some time (metaphorically) in each other's shoes and  this can often have a transformative effect on the relationship going forwards.