Mediation

 

Here are several suggestions of mediation strategies, along with some interesting stories and examples.

General Observations

Chester Crocker outlines the elements of a successful intervention.
Jannie Botes discusses the concept of "media mediation."

Convening Mediation

To mediate or not to mediate: that is the question, saysMarcia Cambell, when approaching worldview or value conflicts.
Wallace Warfield discusses the importance of getting the right people at the negotiation table.
Silke Hansen talks about the third party's role in making medition a feasible option.

During Mediation

Sarah Cobb describes her goals as an intervenor as helping people reframe their narratives.
Howard Gadlin, Ombudsman at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) discusses how cultural differences can lead to different interpretations of the conflict.
Howard Gadlin, Ombudsman at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) describes the difficulty in fighting the perception that the ombudsman is independent of the organization.
Howard Gadlin, Ombudsman at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) describes the qualities likely to make for a successful ombudsman.
Leo Smyth recommends that mediators avoid imposing their preconceived notions about the goals of intervention.
Leo Smyth asserts that reconciling disputants' frames with the "realistic" elements of a conflict can sometimes be difficult.
Frank Blechman states that surprises offer the intervenor a chance to re-assess the assumptions he/she has made about a conflict.
Frank Blechman suggests that intervenors often provide counterbalance.
Marcia Caton Campbell advises that mediators should not overlook disputants' own approaches to conflict resolution.
Frank Dukes talks about dealing with spoilers in mediation.

Strategies and Techniques

Frank Dukes, director of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation at the University of Virginia, suggests that it important for mediators not to seek to advance a particular set of interests. However, this does not mean that mediators are fully neutral. This is evidenced by the fact that in environmental negotiations, mediators need to be advocates for sustainability
Howard Gadlin, Ombudsman at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides some advice for those new to the field.
Howard Gadlin, Ombudsman at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests some means of assessing the success of his interventions as an ombudsman.
Howard Gadlin, Ombudsman at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) describes his work in providing workplace mediation. It involves a reactive element of dealing with disputes, but also identifying common institutional problems that can be corrected.
Howard Gadlin, Ombudsman at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) gives some suggestions on distinguishing between interpersonal disputes and structural problems.
Nancy Ferrell talks about re-establishing channels of communication during family mediation.
Nancy Ferrell talks about cost-benefit analysis and visioning as mediation techniques.
Suzanne Ghais recommends that mediators explore the past in order to better understand parties' perspectives.
Suzanne Ghais talks about ways to help parties to discuss the past without getting caught up cycles of blame.
Silke Hansen talks about a benign form of manipulation mediators can use to help parties move toward compromise.
Jane Docherty notes the importance of differentiating between impasses based on worldview differences, and others based on bad faith or misunderstandings.
Wallace Warfield argues that contrary to traditional wisdom, caucuses can prevent change.
John Paul Lederach explains the distinction between an insider/partial role and an outsider/neutral one using examples from Latin America.
John Paul Lederach describes how to guarantee fairness if in a partial/insider role.
Andrea Strimling, Commissioner, International ADR, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, advises those entering the field to develop professional networks and to carve out a professional niche, of which there are many available.
Andrea Strimling, Commissioner, International ADR, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, gives an example from Indonesia related to working with local partners and being sensitive to relationship and dynamics.
Andrea Strimling, Commissioner, International ADR, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, suggests traits she thinks are useful in the discipline. 10929/
Community Relations Service Mediator Stephen Thom describes how works with the parties to help them communicate their concerns effectively.

Case Examples of Mediation

Larry Susskind talks about consensus building and mediation in the Middle East.
Eileen Babbitt describes the work of Yona Shamir and the Center for Negotiation and Mediation in Israel. Shamir has worked to fight the pessimism that set in as the Palestinian-Israeli peace process unraveled in the late 1990s.
Peter Woodrow describes a Sri Lankan approach to mediation.
Howard Gadlin, Ombudsman at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides an example in which what at first appeared to be an interpersonal dispute was actually due to structural problems.
John Katungaof Nairobi Peace Initiative (NPI) discusses efforts at rehabilitation and reconciliation after ethnic conflict through community mediation. Examples are drawn from Kenya.
John Katungaof Nairobi Peace Initiative (NPI) describes the long-term process of grassroots peacebuilding through community mediation to deal with ethnic conflict in Ghana.
John Katungaof Nairobi Peace Initiative (NPI) explains NPI's efforts to evaluate their community mediation efforts.
Andrea Strimling, Commissioner, International ADR, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, describes the challenges of funding as an obstacle to her work.