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Lecture 7

Lecture 7 - Mediation

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Peace and Conflict Studies
PACS 202
Betty Pries

Mediation Core Features of Mediation  Decision making/conflict resolution process (sometimes facilitated confrontation)  Parties are assisted by a third person  Who attempts to improve the process of decision making/conversation  Using a variety of skills and techniques  To assist parties in reaching an outcome to which they can each assent o The decision makers are the parties themselves  Mediator is like a midwife, to help to come to a resolution – not the decision maker  Image: the ABC triangle, where the line of primary tension is between a and b o C’s purpose is to help mediate a and b, but not fix their problem Context for Mediation  Mediation occurs in a wide, wide range of contexts... o Interpersonal disputes between co-workers or management/staff o Organizational visioning/restructuring o Insurance companies and individuals o Families – parent/teen o Families – divorcing couples or between partners simply wanting to work out an issue o Families – adult siblings o FCS & Parents of apprehended children o Disputes between businesses o Disputes involving multi-stakeholder groups (e.g. Land use disputes) o Victim-Offender mediation (from cases of minor crime to post-incarceration meetings in cases of very serious crime) o Everything from a minor fraction to a major situation like murder, get put under victim offender mediation o Union-Management Agreement Bargaining o Between friends, roommates o Between neighbours, o Within community groups, religious groups o Between cultural groups o Between nations/between distinct groups within nations  Between two people or involving large groups of 100+ individuals (and everything in between).  For cases dealing with tangible or intangible issues.  For single incident events or events with long histories.  Can include only the people directly involved or it can draw in a larger circle including those more indirectly involved.  Insider Mediation vs. External Mediation o Society tends to prefer external  No bias; they don’t know anyone in the situation  People sometimes goes to a trusted community leader, but it would lead to the ABC’s C to tell A or B to apologize  In a perfect world, A or B would listen, but in North America, that does not happen (external style of mediation)  Privacy is held high  Mediators have specific lines of work  the context o They do not take care of all types of mediations  Most challenging: victim-offender o The emotional rollercoaster can take a toll on the people Pre-Mediation  To prepare or not to prepare? o Not as raw anymore o There will be bias; not honest anymore  To look for trouble spots, assess appropriateness for mediation, assess who should be involved...  To build rapport between mediator and participants o Putting money into the emotional bank account; mediator can judge whether the line has been passed or not  To build trust in process  To prepare parties for session – to help parties to be at their best, so that parties shine not mediator  To allow mediation to be an informed choice  To allow mediator to prepare for session Pre-Mediation Challenges Mediation  Parties may want you to pitch your tent in their camp  Confidentiality  Managing people's desire to use session as venue to pin blame on the other person.  Managing unrealistic expectations  Balancing hope with reality  Determining the appropriate mediation process, given the situation  Vastly different goals of parties for process  Dealing with logistics; arranging session/dealing with timing issues  Managing your own biases as they develop  Mediation is turning that corner when there is a conflict, not to send them back to their happy place o =] ---------------------------- =[ (turn this corner rather than back to the beginning) Logistics  Who needs to be there? Or be informed?  What will (not) be discussed? What is purpose of session?  When will it take place?  Where? What location feels neutral and safe?  How? What will the seating arrangement look like? Classic Mediation Model  Stage One – open the dialogue  Stage Two – hear from both sides, o paraphrase each side  let people know they’ve been hurt (what are the problems that need to be addressed?) o Summarize issues, o name agenda neutrally  Stage Three – build understanding on the issues between the parties using IAE, PI, etc. o How will you determine which issue you will start?  Where you start depends on:  What is most pressing for people?  Where can one achieve early success?  What is common? o What kind of questions?  What is it about x that is important to you?  When x happened, what meaning did you take from that?  Can you talk about a time when things went well between you and y? What was that like?  What were you hoping for when you said x?  Can you provide a specific example?  Is it fair to sayt hat what is most important to you about this is x?  All these questions are open ended, used to open up conversation  Stage Four – plan resolution, test agreements… Follow Up  Follow-up acknowledges the challenges implicit in the conflict de-escalation model.  Is highly dependent on the situation being mediated  Absence can re-ignite conflict  Purpose: To plan for life after mediation, to check in with participants, to check in on agreements  Technique: Set time fram
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