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Tricia S. Jones, Temple University, copyright protect, March 2006 Phases of Mediation Basic stages or phases that most mediations go through Phases are.

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Presentation on theme: "Tricia S. Jones, Temple University, copyright protect, March 2006 Phases of Mediation Basic stages or phases that most mediations go through Phases are."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University, copyright protect, March 2006 Phases of Mediation Basic stages or phases that most mediations go through Phases are guideposts about progress, but do not have to occur in a specific order or at a specific time

2 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University, copyright protect, March 2006 Phase 1: Orientation to Mediation and Initial Identification of Issues –help the parties understand what mediation is and to provide them an opportunity to ask questions about the process –identify the basic issues in the conflict so the initial agenda can be set and the mediator can determine whether mediation is appropriate in this case.

3 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University, copyright protect, March 2006 Opening Comments To accomplish the first purpose the mediator makes an opening statement that explains mediation and the mediators role in the mediation.

4 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University, copyright protect, March 2006 The opening statement Introductions of the mediator and parties Mediation is a voluntary process Parties retain all decision-making control in the conflict the mediator does not act as judge or fact-finder.

5 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University, copyright protect, March 2006 Opening Statement contd. The goal in mediation is to help the parties constructively manage the conflict Mediation is a confidential process (and what the limits of confidentiality are, if any) A general overview of the mediation process (in terms of general agenda)

6 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University, copyright protect, March 2006 Opening Statement contd. Questions to see whether the parties understand the process In addition, some mediators like to include a discussion of guidelines for behavior (e.g., no name calling, no interrupting, etc.).

7 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University, copyright protect, March 2006 Initial Identification of Issues the mediator asks each party to briefly explain his or her understanding of the conflict and what needs to be addressed. From this introduction, the mediator can identify the basic issues, see where the parties differ in their understanding of the conflict, and consider an agenda for this conflict.

8 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University, copyright protect, March 2006 Common problems with Phase 1 Parties express discomfort with the nature of mediation. Parties argue for positions or what has to be done before issues are defined. The parties identify separate or mutually exclusive agendas and there is no agreement on how to proceed. Parties are unable to discuss the conflict at all because of strong emotions.

9 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University, copyright protect, March 2006 Phase 2: Understanding the Parties Interests and Emotions –the discussion needs to move to understanding the ways that parties see the conflict. There are two strongly interrelated aspects of this – their interests, or underlying concerns, and their emotions, or how they feel about the conflict and what it will take to make it better for them.

10 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University, copyright protect, March 2006 Exploring Interests An interest is an underlying concern that someone has, usually a concern that motivates them to argue for a particular action, outcome or position.

11 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University, copyright protect, March 2006 Common problems with Phase 2 Parties are not ready to deal with the conflict Parties are so distrustful they will not share anything other than facts Parties want to focus only on the solutions without discussing their view of the conflict Parties insist the other see it their way

12 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University, copyright protect, March 2006 Phase 3: Generating Options In many cases the parties want to move beyond understanding the conflict and work toward agreeing on some action or orientation to the relationship. Some people think of this as problem- solving, but we adopt a broader perspective. We think of it in terms of options for making the situation better.

13 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University, copyright protect, March 2006 Brainstorming Brainstorming (putting forth ideas without criticizing them). The parties then create a pool of possible options. The parties clarify options if there is some confusion.

14 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University, copyright protect, March 2006 Common problems in Phase 3 –the party needs professional therapeutic help –Parties are psychologically unable to disconnect from their positions –Offers are antagonistically rejected by the other. –Options are extreme and unworkable. –Parties are unwilling to propose any options. –Parties are pessimistic about all options.

15 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University, copyright protect, March 2006 Phase 4: Assessing Options and Deciding on Actions In this phase, the parties talk about the worth and feasibility of the options that have been generated and discussed. Then, they decide on actions.

16 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University, copyright protect, March 2006 Selection Process The selection process involves discussing the criteria for acceptable options (these come from explored interests and facilitated reappraisals). Then options are selected based in how well they meet those criteria.

17 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University, copyright protect, March 2006 Flexibility There can be several options that are selected –There can be options that are joint and individual. –There can be options that are immediate or future. –There can be options that are incrementally enacted. –There can be options that are piloted pending final agreement.

18 Tricia S. Jones, Temple University, copyright protect, March 2006 Common problems with Phase 4 The most common problem is that parties are unwilling to make decisions, either individually or jointly. Parties want to force the other to see the relationship a certain way. Parties are unwilling to commit to specifics in terms of joint action and decision.


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