Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process for resolving disputes.
Mediation and Conflict Resolution
Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process for resolving disputes. The process is facilitated by an independent and completely neutral third party. The mediator’s role is to assist the parties to have a constructive conversation with each other in which they develop their own solutions. Mediation is a process that values and respects each person, and assumes that people are capable of working cooperatively to figure out how to resolve their concerns. It brings people together to talk to each other and to listen to each other.
In fact most conflicts are resolved in a 2-hour mediation session, making this service an effective tool for finding common ground.
There are several different types of mediation. The Center uses facilitative mediation, in which the mediator guides the process but does not take sides, make decisions for the parties, tell them what they should do, or give legal advice.
Rev. Judy Landt
Mediator and conflict consultant
Judy received mediation training at the Mediation and Restorative Justice Center in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and served as a volunteer mediator there, mediating a variety of cases including small claims court, business, family, and neighbor disputes. Since moving to Minnesota in 2014, she has completed civil mediation training and family mediation training at the Conflict Resolution Center in Minneapolis and have served as a mediator there, mediating cases in Hennepin County Harassment and Housing Courts, doing restorative justice work with juvenile offenders, and mediating a variety of community cases.
How does mediation work?
Each party has uninterrupted time to tell the story of what brought them to mediation. All parties have the opportunity to express themselves fully and to have their concerns heard. The mediator assists the parties in identifying underlying needs and wants, clarifying issues, and engaging in problem solving. If an agreement is reached, the mediator can assist the parties in writing it down, if the parties so desire. A typical mediation session lasts about two hours, although it may be shorter, and additional sessions can be scheduled if the parties so desire.
It is not always possible to bring all parties to a conflict together to engage in mediation, and in these situations, conflict consulting can be a helpful option. Conflict consulting differs from mediation in that the consultant meets with one party to a conflict. The one party might be an individual or an organization, like a church. The consultant assists that party in exploring the issues involved in the conflict, and may teach communication and conflict resolution skills. The consultant also assists in developing strategies for moving forward, including creation of an action plan to address the conflict.