The aim of this paper is to analyze the process of mediation and how it affects parties of the mediation process. Mediation is a powerful dispute resolution tool that is often employed in the cases of deadlock: when parties fail to agree upon the basic premises of conflict resolution, a mediator steps in to help parties to achieve common ground as to tools and methods of dispute settlement.
It is important to keep in mind that a mediator is only a facilitator of the process of conflict resolution; this person cannot force any opinions or decisions upon the parties. Parties have to reach a consensus by themselves.
Mediation process has a profound impact on the parties involved. First of all, it stimulates deeper reflection upon their situation, i.e. parties have to make their claims and expectation clear and concise.
Furthermore, decisions reached with the help of mediation usually enjoy greater degree of support from both sides, since parties feel that they take an active role in the decision-making process. Parties also feel free to voice any of their concerns since mediation is a private process and does not entail unnecessary publicity.
Mediation can help to avoid acute conflicts and breakdowns of the negotiation process. A mediator ensures that the process does not deviate significantly from the agenda set at the beginning. A mediator also ensures that the dispute settlement process happens within the generally accepted ethical framework.
Thus, it should hardly elicit surprise that an increasing number of conflicts are being solved with the help of mediation process.