Page 17 - Linkline Summer 2018
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surface again  It is also an inevitable reaction of parties embroiled in a dispute is to rush to a negative judgment of the other party  This is a very human reaction – we feel threatened 
Following all this we come to the central tenet of practically every dispute – communication! If communication is poor, misunderstood or breaks down, disagreements can develop  From my experience in mediation, I am convinced the root causes of most disputes are frequently caused by poor or mis-communication  As people we don’t always listen to what is being said to us, but we certainly hear what we want to hear 
In the mediation process, when both parties get to a stage that they can honestly accept the other party is a human, they begin the process of healing  The hurt or dispute might not be resolved to the satisfaction of both parties, but for the first time the “enemy” is suddenly a person, with feelings and emotions  Now, all manner of opportunities presents themselves to a possible resolving of the dispute  For those immersed in misery, the chance to step out into the light and return to normality, explains why four out of five mediations are successful  The reason? Deep down inside nobody likes to argue  For those at the centre of disputes, they are destructive and time thieves 
The over-riding objective of any mediation is to reach a resolution, or at least, arrive at an accommodation or an agreement  By opting for mediation, the parties are
demonstrating that they are at least open to the possibility of arriving at their own solution  The Mediator must take their attendance as a positive sign, and a practical display of both party’s willingness to resolve matters  A successful mediation will deliver the end of an argument, and hopefully return happiness to two people who had misplaced it  However, we also must be aware mediation might not work in every situation 
In conclusion, is opting for mediation a sign of strength or weakness? If I am in a strong position, why would I attend mediation? Apart from the legal and financial advantages of selecting mediation over formal litigation or other proceedings, on a human level, isn’t it great to become part of the solution instead of continuing to be part of the problem  Sit down, talk it out, realise you are not entirely blameless, learn from the experience, and move on  If every business owner was to embrace the possibilities of mediation, then the duelling pistols can remain in their case forever!
Tom Martin MA, MIITD, LIB, QFA, CUA, CUC, CUG, CMILT, AMOSE, AMIRTE  ( Certified Mediator )
Tom Martin is a specialist in the area of business mentoring, consultancy, and the design and delivery of technical, customer service, interpersonal skills, and regulatory training programmes. Tom also researches and produces training and procedure manuals.
  The Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport 17

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