16 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2005
Date Written: February 13, 2005
Tremendous diversity exists among mediation practitioners and among theorists - which is probably for the best. Diversity among practitioners is desirable because it is mediation's response to the human dimension of conflict that makes it work so well. Mediation allows the participants to make decisions in the framework that works for them. The basis of a decision might be a sense of obligation or duty, rights or principles, application of objective standards, or a subjective view of justice. Alternatively, the basis of a decision might be preservation of personal relationships, compassion, compromise, empathy or concern for others. The mediator has the task of discerning what framework each party is using and then to design and execute a process that will allow those frameworks to shift towards each other, or to serve as an adapter between differing frameworks, taking input from one source and converting it in some way so as to produce an output the other party can receive. Therefore, mediators are necessarily as varied in their approach as the people served.
The Conclusion of this Article answers the question of how mediation assists the parties in achieving wise resolutions: The mediation process, when properly done, makes the wise resolution self-evident to parties committed to the concept of self-determination.
Keywords: Ethics, Humanism, Wisdom, Self-Determination, Conflict Resolution, Mediator, Mediation, Negotiation, Advocacy, Decision-Making, Efficiency, Distributive, Integrative, Hybrid, Interests, Relationships, Resources, Problem-Solving, Principled, Win Win, BATNA
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