Organisational and Community Dispute Resolution
This type of mediation is applied to organisations, associations or communities. It is distinct from commercial or workplace mediation as the organisations in question are generally not employers of those in dispute and the disputes will not involve commercial contracts.
Types of organisations;
- Voluntary and Community Sector bodies
- Community Groups and Clubs
- Sporting Associations
- Residents Associations and neighbours
What are the benefits?
- Mediation succeeds in 80% of cases
- It is fast and cost effective; sessions can be scheduled quickly
- The mediator is impartial
- The process is non-adversarial
- Mediation allows the problems to be resolved informally, ensuring all sides are heard in the process.
- Any mutually agreed solution is likely to last
How does it work?
Contact with the mediator is usually made by a representative of the organization or by an individual involved in the dispute. The mediator first speaks to each of the parties to the dispute by phone to explain the process and to answer any questions. The mediator then meets the parties, either individually or in teams, informed consent is given by signing the Mediation Agreement, and the ground rules are set out. The aim of the process is to allow each person involved in the dispute the opportunity to be heard and to engage with the other party/parties to reach a workable solution. The process is flexible and may involve joint meetings or meetings with the mediator alone. The mediator will assist the parties to look for practical solutions through structured negotiations. Mediation is an alternative to the adversarial litigation route which often incurs significant costs.
At the first session, usually lasting an hour and a half the nature and purpose of mediation is fully explained, the mediator will then encourage the party/parties to speak openly, with equal time given to all. The Mediator will endeavour to identify all the relevant issues, by investigating the perspective of the party/parties. During the next sessions (usually no more than 2 further sessions should be required, each subsequent session lasting approximately an hour) the Mediator will help the parties to explore options and alternatives and help them to negotiate and make decisions.
Multiple party mediation-the process
Where there are multiple parties to the dispute, the mediator will initially meet with each team or committee to carefully analyze the origins of the dispute from the perspective of that team/committee, to understand the role each team/committee member plays, with a particular focus on hierarchical structures and the rules that govern the functions of the team/committee. A smaller group of team leaders may then meet with the mediator to engage in informal discussion and problem solving. This will be fed back to the two teams/committees, with a view to bringing both groups together to build on problem solving mechanisms.
When the Parties settle a dispute at mediation, their joint decisions will usually be recorded in a written Agreement drafted by the Mediator, and signed by the parties.