Mediation - why should I consider it?
Mediation is one of the most successful ways of resolving a dispute or disagreement and is particularly effective in “nipping issues in the bud” before they become too disruptive. It is a flexible process and can be used in a wide variety of situations. It is entirely voluntary and is usually much quicker and more effective than traditional dispute resolution methods such as grievance and complaints procedures.
Mediation involves a skilled, independent mediator who supports both parties in finding a solution to the issues they are facing. The mediator helps people work out and express what their issues are and then explore what options might be available for moving forward.
The mediator does not take sides or make judgements but will make sure that everyone gets a chance to tell their version of events, hear the other side, work through the issues that are important to them and come to an agreement on how to move forward.
What are the benefits of mediation?
- helps people to solve problems that they are facing
- is completely confidential
- is unbiased and non-judgemental
- is voluntary
- encourages early resolution of disagreements
- puts the people involved in control of the outcome
- is less formal than grievance and complaints procedures or employment tribunals
- is less stressful
- could be cheaper
- could resolve your dispute more quickly
- shows that you are keen to resolve your dispute amicably
Why do people choose to mediate?
There are a number of reasons why people choose to mediate, including:
- they want to maintain a relationship with the people they have a dispute with.
- they want the dispute and any agreement to be confidential.
- they want to stay in control of the process
- they are worried about the costs or the delay in waiting for formal grievance or complaints processes
- there may be outcomes that can be agreed which formal processes could not award.
- they know that if mediation is not successful they can still use more formal processes.
- mediation reflects core values such as respect, working cooperatively, empowerment, openness and honesty.
Is mediation successful?
Yes – Mediation is a voluntary process and only takes place if both parties agree that they want to find a solution. Most mediations are successful in reaching agreements, and people are more likely to stick to agreements made in mediation than when something was decided more formally.
Mediation in Charities
Scottish Mediation can arrange for a professional, accredited mediator to conduct a mediation at a low cost depending upon the size of the charity. Charities with an income of under £50,000 p.a. may be eligible for pro-bono mediation at no cost.
For more information or to discuss a specific case contact the Scottish Mediation Helpline on 0131 556 118 and quote “Third Sector”.