The structure of a mediation
The structure of the mediation process is divided into six phases. The following list shows what happened in the individual phases.
Step 1 - Introduction
In the introductory phase, an open and trust-building atmosphere is created. The mediator communicates the principles of mediation to the participants and explains the individual steps and goals of the process as well as the roles and tasks of all participants.
Step 2 - Parties‘ Statements
In the second phase, the participants present their respective point of view of the conflict. The mediator’s task here is to give each of the participants the same opportunity to express themselves freely and openly and to name the points that are important to them and those that are important to them wants to know discussed. The mediator listens actively, asks questions to ensure that he has understood everything correctly, supports those involved with wording aids if necessary, and summarizes what they have heard for everyone involved.
Step 3 - Exploring Conflicts and Interests
The third step serves to clarify the respective interests that are behind the positions represented and that are actually important to those involved. The mediator thus reveals the background of the action, of which the participants themselves are often not (yet) aware. This also includes hidden emotions, motives and previous experiences. The direction of communication in this phase is increasingly shifted from the contact between one participant and the mediator to the contact between the participants themselves.
Step 4 - Generating Options
In the fourth phase, those involved begin the creative search for ideas. By means of “brainstorming”, those involved collect and develop proposed solutions that initially remain unevaluated. Then the previously developed options are examined and evaluated for feasibility.
Step 5 - Agreement
The mediation ends with a mediation agreement between the parties involved. In this, the solutions are set out in writing for the purpose of their implementation and are binding for the parties involved.
Step 6 - Follow-up
After an agreed time, the parties report on their experience with the chosen solutions at a joint meeting. The aim of this phase is to check the feasibility of the chosen solutions in everyday life and to adjust them if necessary.
“You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”