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What is Mediation?

Updated: Feb 24, 2022

What is mediation? I get that question on so many of my initial conversations with prospective clients, I tend to answer it now even if I’m not asked. Why is that? Simply because so many people either do not know or have the wrong idea on exactly what a mediator is and what the mediator’s role is. Mediators are independent third parties, trained and skilled in helping both parties achieve self autonomy. A mediator engages the individuals in conflict, and guides them to be the problem solvers in their own worlds.

The first part of my mediation methodology is to identify the problem. Oftentimes, this leads to simply defining what mediation is, my role, and what we will accomplish in the context of their conflict and how I help them come to a resolution.

As a mediator I want to do my best to help people identify their problems and quickly pivot towards focusing on the solution. Informing my clients that I am here to facilitate and assist them in solving their own problems, we then identify the problem, brainstorm and I help create understanding for different solutions, and then it is up to the parties to pick the right solution and which works for all involved parties.

Why mediation versus going to court and letting a judge rule on it? I believe by empowering people to have direct input into the issues they are struggling with, we can come to the most effective and valuable way to effectively and efficiently create the solutions they seek and ultimately are satisfied with. As I have been mediating I’ve seen first-hand how many people noticeably transform in the mediation process as they begin to see the problem melt away when the solution starts to form. Powerful, indeed!

What is appropriate to mediate? As someone who has worked in the social service field for many years, I really love to help individuals in high conflict problems grow to resolve their issues. Assisting people in relationships such as high conflict child custody, divorce, or any sort of domestic violence situation has been so empowering. I get to see daily, in my work, those who do not have (and are seeking subconsciously or consciously) to create more self-determination in their lives. I love watching them learn and thrive as they go through the process and create their own solutions. People know what they need and sometimes they just need some assistance in getting through the process to reach a resolution.

Who else benefits from mediation? I believe nearly every conflict, every disagreement would benefit from mediation. Real estate, evictions, pet disputes, workplace conflict, you name it and we should mediate. Why? Because working with people to solve their own conflicts is a win-win for everyone involved, it hands the power back to them instead of handing over that power to a judge.

Sure, it might be less work and less hassle to go before a judge and ask the judge to decide what their outcome is. However, does anyone like to just give their self-empowerment and self determination away to a stranger? Especially when it comes to your own “skin in the game.” Seeing people leave mediation with an agreement they made and wanted to work with is way more empowering than having a stranger dictate how your life is going to be. Courts are a win-lose proposition. As a bit of a math geek, I love numbers and the truth they tell. According to the courts I work with, a financial ruling by a judge only results in a 37% of final judgment re-payment, versus a 93% agreement repayment when there is a mediated agreement where the parties come to the resolution themselves. What does this tell us? Mediation collaboration works because people are invested and have been part of the process in choosing their desired outcome.

My whole life has been spent building my skills as a mediator and conflict resolution expert. Leaving emotion at the door, focusing on facts, goals, and possible outcomes while remaining neutral and allowing both parties to help me understand their needs is an amazing way to assist people. Please reach out and see how I can assist you in meeting your needs and helping you solve your own conflict issues. Let’s create a win-win for you.

To learn more about my services, both as a conflict resolution expert, public & private mediator, as well as current trainings, mentorship offerings and public speaking opportunities visit and Connect with me on LinkedIn.

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