I can’t talk to him anymore. I’m right. He must oblige me. Radical solutions and a conflict situation usually split the relationships equally vigorously. However, proper communication does not have to leave the bridges burnt.
There was an inappropriate question at breakfast. The significant other had a bad night’s sleep. We’re out of coffee. These are ideal circumstances for a good fight, whose reconciliation will probably take from 8 am till the next warm dinner. Common fights spice up life. They take care of a dose of adrenaline in the body. But there are really serious controversies about something else. The reasons that lead to encountering laws and lawyers. Yes, the symbol of justice is scales, but mediation offers balanced satisfaction on both sides of the conflict.
“Mediation is an out-of-court procedure or activity in which the parties seek to resolve an existing dispute between them. An important difference between a mediator and a lawyer or other legal professional is that the mediator is the one between the disputing parties who are obliged to hear both parties. They do not favor any of them, do not judge, do not express their opinions,” says Magdaléna Drgoňová, chairwoman of the Association of Mediators of Slovakia. She sees the advantage of the mediation process in the fact that the mediator has no limits on how to lead the parties to a mutual agreement. Except for the legal ones. “A mediator creates the conditions for amicable communication and for taking into account the interests of both parties involved. The successful process ends with the signing of a mediation agreement, i.e. an agreement concluded out of court.”
The mediator is first and foremost impartial. They are equal for both sides.
In the first steps, the mediator also directs the activities to win over both parties to the dispute. Sometimes it can be just one party, who wants to start mediation at the beginning of the conflict. The mediator does not give legal advice to the parties, for example, on the defense in court. They do not promote unilateral interests.
We choose mediation only if we want to save time and money. If we want to retain responsibility for the resolution process as well as for the outcome in our own hands and not transfer it to the decision of the authority. The chairwoman of the professional association and the mediator Adriana Fischer both agree.
“It is appropriate to use it if we are in favor of a solution by agreement, where we will both be winners. Also if we care about the proper continuation of relationships.” According to her, it is advantageous even if court proceedings are already underway. We can also save on the fees paid at the court. Mediation has no limits even for types of disputes. It finds solutions to civil, family, labor, and commercial disputes.
“The mediator is first and foremost impartial. They are equal for both sides. They shall give them the same scope and take their views into account.’ The mediator’s tool is mainly such communication that is not coercive, respects the other side, and listens actively. The mediator helps to paraphrase or mirror, and formulate opinions clearly but neutral so the complaints become needs. “The mediator tries to select what is important. Work in such a way that the problem is solved overall. They reveal the hidden needs of the participants.”
Emotions also enter the conflict significantly. Psychologist Dušan Fábik reminds us that we should know what feelings we are experiencing during the dispute. We’re supposed to know if we’re sad. Whether we feel anger. Whether we feel hurt. “When we honestly answer this question, we should respond in a way that also expresses this emotion in the conflict. This attitude will help our conscience and satisfaction. Whether this is the way to resolve the dispute is a matter of the other side. They should choose the same self-reflection.”
Text: Eva Vaškov, photo: pexels