Recognise successful mediation
In the next 6 steps, we will show what GREAT MEDIATION looks like.
SOURCE: Tips for solving disputes by Maija Gellin and Pia Slögs from the Finnish Forum for Mediation.
Mediation done well
Among the central needs of parties to a dispute are the need to be heard and the need to be understood.
In a restorative discussion, these needs begin to be fulfilled and feelings of hurt subside, which gives room for finding solutions.
Notice that everyone’s perspective or story is valuable. Calm down and calm down the situation and listen to everyone even if you have a different view.
In mediation, we do not concentrate on who is guilty or on punishments.
The restorative approach to mediation is solution-oriented and its aim is to restore functioning relationships between people.
Express how you perceive what has happened without blaming anyone. “In my opinion, what happened was…” is a better way to begin explaining your views than declaring your own truths or blaming others.
It is important for mediation that all parties speak about their feelings.
Expressing and understanding one’s own feelings is an essential part of the mediation process.
Feelings are also used to support redefining situations.
Ask about the feelings of all parties and talk about your own. Don’t force your own assumptions on the feelings and thoughts of others upon them. Interrupt any possible accusations/blaming of others and guide the conversation back to people’s thoughts and feelings.
The value of not being in a hurry: it is important to give time for the stories of those participating in mediation, in order for them to feel like they were genuinely heard. Whether the mediation brings results depends on the fairness of the process, as perceived by the parties. Importantly, the feeling of being heard is closely linked with experienced fairness/justice.
Provide enough time for the stories and the feelings of the parties in mediation, and only then move on to look for solutions. When everyone feels heard, it enables participants to take true ownership and responsibility of the situation.
The restorative approach to mediation is solution-oriented.
It is important that the parties decide on the solutions themselves, for then it is easier for them to commit to the agreement.
Solutions are often simple promises that stop the conflict from repeating itself. Give everyone room to look for solutions and make the decision on how to behave in the future together. The parties to the conflict are experts of their own conflict.
Follow-up and nurture positive feedback. It is important to observe any positive changes and to give positive feedback about them.
This supports good development and helps to build sustainable peace.
Take care of the follow-up. Pay attention to any signs of positive change in line with the agreement and give positive feedback about it to others and to yourself. Let successes wipe away the last bits of resentment and hold on to positive development.
All intercultural mediation is supporting conflict resolution.
Even when we show examples of advocacy or representation, that still means a mediator (advocate, artist…) is working on reducing the conflict of any negative narratives, a conflict that exists in the reduced sense of belonging or reduced inclusion.
REMEMBER: Not all conflicts are loud!
Here are some examples of mediation done well.
You have probably seen successful intercultural mediation many times online.
Do you know what these are?
Online groups, on social media, such as Facebook and LinkedIn groups often serve as a source of information, support and orientation for migrants, refugees, expatriates in different countries.
They are also important tools to advance peer-to-peer mediation.
These groups host large numbers of members and have huge popularity and volume of information exchanged daily, which shows the success and relevance of the mediation approach.
Another mediation success example from Ireland
As a result of advocacy, the policy makers made positive changes
- Direct Provision in Ireland is a means of meeting the basic needs of food and shelter for asylum seekers directly while their claims for refugee status are being processed rather than through full cash payments
- However, people often felt stuck within the system and their status has been unresolved for years, leaving them unqualified for work, housing, etc.
- Up to 17,000 undocumented people may be eligible, including 3,000 children
- Now, as a result of advocacy (mediation) efforts, the regularisation scheme will bring certainty and peace of mind to the thousands of people
- Inviting asylum seekers to apply would help address “legacy asylum cases” and ensure the new asylum accommodation system to replace direct provision will be fully operational by 2024
Ireland direct provision – Let‘s Match Mums
Let‘s Match Mums matches mothers in Direct Provision (DP) centres to mothers outside of DP who would like to donate some clothes, toys, nappies and other baby equipment.
With Let’s Match Mums, the hope is to help promote sustainability as well as catering to the needs of asylum seeker mothers who need our help.
This way mums act as peer-to-peer mediators.
For more information, read the article :
Danish Refugee Council
Cultural Mediators from Danish Refugee Council in Greece help refugees/asylum seekers to communicate with the locals, learn their rights and familiarise themselves with the procedures.
SOURCE: Danish Refugee Council
How it was done
- The mediators helped refugees/asylum seekers to communicate with the locals with translation and interpretation in their everyday life.
- They taught them the procedures so they can do these procedures alone in the future.
- They became a bridge between locals and refugees/asylum seekers and filled the cultural gap.
- Both locals and refugees/asylum seekers benefited from the cultural mediation services.
Mediation done right has deep impacts on the life of individuals and the cohesion of the community!
“At the hospital, they treated me very well and the cultural mediator was with me all the time at the hospital, at the psychologist. Because of DRC cultural mediators, our daily affairs became easier.”
Main conclusions to this module
Develops the community
All parties can have them
Understand them to overcome them
The positive impact is wide
Builds relationships and leadership, solves problems