Because we all stand to gain. Because we’re preparing for a future in peace.
Avoiding frank discussions, silencing criticism, swallowing a bitter pill and second guessing instead of asking questions all lead to dissatisfaction, negative thoughts and hurt feelings. There you have all the ingredients to start a conflict. So what can be done about it?
Instead of trying to talk about things, many people tend to run away from a frank discussion. Instead of clearing the air, they allow the atmosphere to get heavier and the conflict starts gaining momentum: There’s increasingly more distance, discomfort, and negative feelings increase. Everything that the other person does, everything that the other person says is interpreted as a hostile act against us.
Is that what’s really going on? No, it isn’t. One of the main characteristics of a conflict is the inability to interpret the way a person acts and communicates in a realistic way. We can no longer see their positive motivation.
However, a positive motivation forms the basis of any act and communication because its goal is to satisfy the basic needs that each person has in individual proportions: 1) to feel secure 2) to feel important, to achieve recognition and results, 3) to feel and experience new things and 4) to feel a sense of belonging.
It is a method of conflict resolution practised worldwide. In Portugal it is regulated by the Mediation Law. Participation is voluntary and can be cancelled at any time. The mediator, who is independent and impartial, ensures strict confidentiality and guides the parties through the five phases of Mediation. With question and coaching techniques, she helps the parties find a resolution to their conflict.
To really resolve a conflict, it is not enough to obtain legal redress. Mediation fosters a feeling of overall peace which includes emotional and harmony in the relationship, as well as personal satisfaction for all those involved.
Yes. A fundamental principal of Mediation is that it is voluntary. Any participation is governed by free will. Therefore, you can leave Mediation at any time without providing any justification.
Conflicts between colleagues lead to a productivity loss of 20% to 30%. Mediation can reestablish a good working atmosphere and a team spirit. Undertaking Mediation with qualified and experienced people instead of resigning or being dismissed ensures that the company continues to be well run, is more cost effective and sustainable. At a European level, there are more and more companies which promote and offer “in-house Mediation” to their staff.
What sets Mediation apart from a simple conversation is the five phase procedure, as well as the way that the Mediation is conducted and the techniques followed by the Mediator. The principles of Mediation ensure a favourable environment.
Not so likely. Mediation is the best way to resolve a conflict because it is the only method in which the actual parties involved in the conflict reach an agreement and accept responsibility for it. The motivation to commit to an agreement made by the parties is high in itself.
The time depends on the seriousness, complexity and the depth of the type of conflict, the number of people involved, as well as the cooperation and abilities of the parties. In the first consultation it is generally possible to give an estimated timeframe.
You can identify a good mediator through the mediator’s excellent communication and coaching skills. They are essential to make the parties see the conflict situation in a different way by being able to separate facts, needs and opinions. They are also vital to lead the parties to a new focus, that means a focus on their true needs, goals and future wellbeing. The solution to the conflict is always found at a factual level.
Mediation can resolve all kinds of conflict so long as the people involved can still think positively. However, there are conflicts in which people get to a point when they only want to harm the adversary, even if that means harming themselves. In this case Mediation is not applicable.
It is. In Portugal, the Mediation Agreement is legally binding if
- the mediator is registered on the Portuguese Ministry of Justice list of approved Mediators;
- the parties are able to sign the agreement;
- the Mediation is undertaken in accordance with the law;
- the Mediation Agreement does not violate public order;
Sometimes, we involve lawyers to provide legal advice during Mediation.
Yes. Recourse to Mediation suspends the proscription and limitation periods from the date that the Mediation Contract is signed. At the end of Mediation, the legal action can be withdrawn or continued.
It wouldn’t make sense, since the resolution to a conflict is as personal as the conflict itself. Even if there is some goodwill in the midst of the conflict, in general, this goodwill is a shield to protect and conceal the real conflict which is much deeper and which is the result of hurt feelings and the injustice felt.