What is Mediation?
Mediation is a process that empowers people to work out their own plan and resolve a dispute peacefully by discussing topics and coming up with creative solutions that work for them. Mediation is a process that elicits honesty and open communication, clarification of the “real” issues and the willingness to jointly determine a prudent solution. Some disputes involve: Business/Consumers, Custody/Visitation, Workplace.
Mediation is confidential; all participants sign a confidentiality agreement. In most cases, except for instance of physical or sexual abuse, what is discussed in mediation stays in mediation.
Mediation is voluntary; you won’t be forced to agree to anything you don’t want to agree to and can end the process at any time.
Mediation is neutral; mediators won’t take sides or decide who is right or wrong. There is no blame: facts and feelings are equally important. No one needs to “prove” anything to solve a problem.
The Mediation Process
- You, your group, or your organization have a conflict with another person, group, or organization, and you think mediation might be an appropriate way to resolve the conflict, contact the Conflict Resolution Center at (301)631-2256, or fill out the form below and will get in contact with you directly. *We offer mediation services at any stages of a dispute.
- Once you have contacted CRC, one of our staff members will have to directly speak to anyone that will be participating in the mediation to gather some information and get their consent, as mediation is voluntary.
- Once we have consent from every participant, our staff will then set a time, date, and location that works best for all participants. All participants are asked to set aside two hours for mediation, the mediation can be longer if needed.
How Does Mediation Works?
- Participants are, first, encouraged to present their own side of the dispute. The mediators, then, reflect back what each participant has said to enhance the understanding of the topics, feelings, and values.
- Participants must then recognize areas of agreement and identify essential topics that need to be resolved.
- Participants must find mutually agreeable solutions through brainstorming. The mediators encourage the participants to list all possible solutions, no matter how far-fetched. When the participants cannot produce any other possible solutions, the mediators help the participants determine which, if any, of the solutions are acceptable.
- Finally, if the participants have reached an agreement on some or all of the issues, the mediators draft a document reflecting that agreement, using the participants’ own language. The participants sign the agreement and will receive a copy. The participants are asked to complete an evaluation of the process, regardless of whether they’ve reached an agreement.