MEASURING MEDIATION EFFECTIVENESS
Society perceives conflict as something that gets in the way of progress, as a negative symptom of a relationship that one should cure as quickly as possible. However, within the mediation profession conflict is seen as a fact of life and when properly managed it can have many benefits for the parties and constituents.
The benefits of conflict include the opportunity to renew relationships and make positive changes for the future. Mediation should be a productive process, where conflict can be managed and expressed safely. It is the mediator's responsibility to let the parties express their emotions entailed in conflict safely. Allowing the parties to express these emotions may seem unhelpful in resolving the dispute, but if managed constructively these emotions may help towards a better relationship between the parties in the future.
The dispute resolution mediation field has felt a need to define the effectiveness of dispute-resolution in a broad manner, including more than whether there was a settlement. Mediation as a field of dispute resolution recognized there was more to measuring effectiveness, than a settlement. Mediation recognized in its own field that party satisfaction of the process and mediator competence could be measured.
Benefits of mediation may include:
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- discovering parties' interests and priorities
- healthy venting of emotions in a protected environment
- an agreement to talk about a set agenda
- identifying roles of the constituents