MGMT 568 Conflict Resolution
October 15, 2012
In a world of constant conflict, there are needs for a concrete method of coming to an agreement. When people find it increasingly difficult to see eye to eye and where intractability has no limits, as a people, we must understand that to progress, to mature, and most importantly to have our needs met, it is important that our issues be resolved within a constructive context. Although there have been many options developed, none have shown such a significant transformational process, or shown a higher rate of success, than the form of resolution that Mediation creates. Mediation always had a place within many cultures even before the term itself had been determined. The most influential component of Mediation is that no matter the scope of the issue at hand, Mediation has been proven to be more than capable to conquer the most inflexible situations, thereby leading to sometimes unforeseeable positive results.
To begin, we must first understand the premise. Mediation is “the intervention in a standard negotiation or conflict of an acceptable third party who has limited or no authoritative decision-making power but who assists the involved parties in voluntarily reaching a mutually acceptable settlement of issues in dispute." (Osemeka). It is also important to understand that mediation is a resolution technique, a tool that can be used to administer the outcome of an issue. Consequently, because mediation can be viewed as a tool, we can then begin to discuss how the process developed from its practice.
The process and specific structural practice of mediation varies from one mediator to the next and varies between situations. This perhaps is mainly due to the design of the situation and whether the parties involved require a formal or informal handling. However, there are definitely some common themes within each structure that can be addressed. The process can be shown using many examples and approaches that are developed, modified, and then professionally instituted, but a basic outline for mediation that the United States Air Force (www.adr.af.mil.org) has designated for their form of conflict resolution provides an excellent yet simplified view of the process. The process begins with an opening statement from the mediator. This explains the guidelines for mediation, what outcome is expected, and also what the mediator is obligated to disclose to participants. A great opening statement can also be used as a way to break the ice or tension that may be looming heavily over conflicts by making disputants involved more comfortable. Next, each disputant involved is given a chance to provide an opening statement. This allows the disputant to communicate their deepest concerns’ about the problem at hand while expressing their issues with other parties involved. It is important to note that no one is allowed to interrupt or intervene during disputants opening statement. Next, the mediator moves on to facilitate the discussion while the parties participate actively, but not aggressively. Maintaining control while resolving the conflict is the key element of success for all mediation. The process then moves on to the “Caucus”. This step in the mediation may become very important due to the potential for pertinent information to be revealed. This is primarily due to the higher level of comfort a disputant may have regarding relaying personal information about the other parties involved to the mediator, one on one. Finally, after the parties have successfully convened once again with each other, and hopefully have found common ground, they make their way to the final step in the process, closure. If an immediate agreement is reached and if satisfactory solutions are made, the results are documented in writing, reviewed, and signed by the involved parties. Some may determine the success of mediation by reaching the final step of closure in the...