The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has tended to make days long and sometimes chaotic. In these uncertain times, your priorities are likely to be changing as work, home, and travel arrangements are modified to adapt. At the Trident Mediation, Counselling, and Support Foundation Inc., we are working with you to arrive at the best solution and mode of delivery for support services, including mediation.
Tensions with roommates may occur as you feel isolated from the physical world around you. Unprecedented changes, such as the closure of many domestic and international borders and travel restrictions, could cause bewilderment. These changes are not forever! There are a time and season for most things, and regrettably, now is not the time to travel; physical distancing and self-isolation are required. We can introduce conventional approaches, techniques, and strategies to manage contested issues online or telephone-based mediation. We are available for you; we may be working from remote locations. However, we are still here for you, so if you have queries, please get in touch with us, and we will reply as soon as possible. In the meantime, be kind to yourselves and be safe.
Conflict management may include different and, at times, overlapping approaches, including conciliation, bargaining, negotiation, mediation, advocacy, adjudication or withdrawal. Tense relationships, conflicts over power may be identified and managed or ignored. It is often preferable to manage power conflicts by applying empathy, creative responses, meaningful assertiveness, purposeful expression of emotion, cultural sensitivity, and enhanced communication.
1. Mediation: The Context
Adjudication often involves the delivery of evidence and debate before an impartial third party, which determines the outcome of the dispute for the other parties concerned. When adjudication occurs, the evidence is delivered, and an impartial third party hears arguments from one or more litigants. Next, the third party makes a determinative decision about the outcome of a dispute. Adjudication usually results in a win or lose situation; arbitration and litigation are adjudication forms.
Broadly mediation is an agreement-reaching process where individuals can create accord between them in a cooperative, voluntary, and informed way. The National Dispute Resolution Advisory Council: Alternative Dispute Resolution Definitions (2000, p. 5) (as cited in s 30 in Hopeshore Pty Ltd v Melroad Equipment Pty Ltd) was defined thus:
Mediation is a process in which the parties to a dispute, with the assistance of a neutral third party (the mediator), identify the disputed issues, develop options, consider alternatives and endeavour to reach an agreement. The mediator often has no advisory or determinative role regarding the content of the dispute or its resolution but may advise on or determine the mediation process.
The mediator can provide you with opportunities to explore and name the sources of your conflict in a caring environment.
2. Mediation: The Process
Mediation may be a process to facilitate an agreement between people in conflict with each other should they both choose this option (Boulle, 2005). Mediation occurs when a mediator assists two or more parties to pinpoint contested issues, creating alternatives to arrive at resolutions. Agreements do not need to be consistent with precedents or prevailing standards in communities Often, the mediator does not give legal advice and may guide the parties through the process. You often set the scope of mediation in concurrence with the mediator. The mediator usually has no authority to determine disputed issues for persons. Mediation ranges from formal to less official responses.
During mediation, you might have opportunities, for example, to isolate issues you wish to explore later. Mediation may not continue, and sometimes you will reach a consensus. By way of example, you may develop promises between yourselves.
A disadvantage of mediation is that dominant people may attempt to subvert the needs of vulnerable people to meet their own needs. If you do not keep your promises, this can undermine a consensual process. Under these kinds of circumstances, the mediator may end mediation. Technologies such as computers and the Internet can enhance mediation.
3. Mediation, Computers, and the Internet
According to Kirby (1998), with the advent of computers and the Internet, “The speed, power, accessibility and storage capacity for personal information identifying an individual are now greatly increased.” It is pivotal that frank and genuine communication happens for mediation to develop. Mediators may communicate separately with a person; the “caucus” is often confidential between mediators and you unless you agree to waive your confidentiality or a court determines otherwise.
Each of you undertakes to fully and honestly disclose all materials and writings as mediators request. Written and oral communications are theoretically often without prejudice settlement dialogue.
In sum, it seems to be preferable for several reasons that, wherever possible, individuals, couples, families, and groups can make voluntary use of options in conflict management such as mediation. Mediation happens in many contexts, including those linked to family, separation and divorce, parenting, property division, and human rights. For additional information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.