Mediation Corner

Mediation and facilitation are about creating solutions. Mediation is a distinct dispute reso­lution process designed to facilitate discussions between parties in a conflict such as a lawsuit. Mediation and facilitation of planning sessions, study groups and other committee work, make use of good communication skills that are based, in part, on a common idea.

A skillful mediator or facilitator recognizes that adults are able to continue to learn and to do things differently. This learning capacity, al­though often neglected by adults, is a good rea­son for hope in negotiations and discussions.

Parties do not come into mediation by chance. They have probably been disagreeing for some time. They know what they think and they know they are right. That is one reason why they are stuck in a dispute. The mediation process gets people to examine what they know and learn what they don't know.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons that mediation and facilitation are considered to be worthwhile by those who have employed them. Both pro­cesses foster creativity in adults. People like to feel productive and are energized by new learn­ing. One good idea tends to spawn another. And in a group, people often reinforce each other's shift toward open-minded inquiries and sugges­tions.