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Stressed Woman
Don't stay stressed by interpersonal conflict. Try mediation.

Mediation is a process where a trained neutral third party, a mediator, helps resolve disputes between two or more parties in conflict.

What is mediation and why use it?
Hand writing Mediation concept with marker on transparent wipe board. To resolve or settle

Conflict is an inseparable part of people’s life. It arises when individuals or groups have opposing or unclear positions, interests, needs, or values. Other causes of conflict can be communication gaps; personality differences; substandard performance; disputes over approaches, responsibility and authority; lack of cooperation; or competition. Conflict needs to be resolved before it escalates into unrepairable damage to relationships, organizations, and communities.

EYC helps resolve issues between conflicting parties by taking them through a dispute-resolution process called mediation. In mediation, people speak for themselves and brainstorm their own solutions, which may result in a written agreement the conflicting parties craft themselves. Mediation ensures everyone’s voice is heard, in a safe, private space that allows them to speak their mind and be vulnerable.

Advantages of mediation:

(1) Less expensive than court

(2) Participants brainstorm their own solutions for implementation

(3) Ensures confidentiality, impartiality, and neutrality

(4) Improves communication between participants

(5) Clarity is gained concerning participants’ positions, interests, needs, or values

(6) All participants feel heard and validated

(7) Relational transformation

A mediator is not a judge or arbitrator. They do not take sides, place blame, or decide who's right or wrong. They do not provide legal advice as well. They facilitate the discussion to unveil issues, clarify parties' positions and viewpoints, and help parties find common ground. The mediation process is confidential, except in cases of child abuse, elder abuse, and credible threats of bodily harm. The mediator will not share information with anyone who is not involved in the process, unless the mediator has the parties’ consent to do so. Mediation is voluntary, and any participant may terminate the mediation at any time.

EYC offers mediation for all types of conflicts, such as family, landlord-tenant, roommate/housemate, workplace, neighbor, financial, spouse, etc. Mediation can be done virtually or in-person.

What to expect from the mediation process:
Business concept meaning The Mediation Process with phrase on the sheet._.jpg

Stage 1: Mediator’s Opening Statement and Explanation
After all disputants are present (virtually or in-person), the mediator introduces himself and everyone participating. The mediator then explains the goals and rules of mediation. Any required paperwork, not yet provided, is completed and signed.

Stage 2: Listening, Information Gathering, and Clarifying
Each disputant is given the opportunity to give an opening statement and explain the conflict from their perspective. Joint discussion then begins. During this stage, the mediator may take notes, ask questions to clarify and further understand issues, and point out areas of agreement and common ground.

Sometimes private caucus becomes necessary at this stage. If the mediator determines private caucus is needed, each disputant meets with the mediator privately (in a separate physical or virtual space) during the session. The mediator may alternate between the disputants to discuss their positions and offers. Upon the mediator’s own discretion, the disputants may reunite to continue their discussion face-to-face.

Stage 3: Listing Topics
Topics are the things the disputants are having conflict about (communication, transportation, housekeeping, schedule, etc.). Topics are identified in stage 2. At this stage, the mediator lists the topics identified, which helps the parties see and name the things they need to make solutions about. After the parties confirm the listed topics are the things they would like to make solutions about, the mediation process moves to stage 4.

Stage 4: Brainstorming Solutions
Each topic is focused on one at a time, and the parties begin brainstorming ideas about how to resolve the conflict. All ideas are listed. Disputants select the ideas they both agree on. Then they work out details concerning what is needed to make those ideas work.

Stage 5: Written Agreement and Closure
Disputants agree to a verbal or written agreement. If written, the mediator writes a summary of all the solutions the parties agreed to. Once satisfied with the summary, the parties sign and receive a copy via DocuSign. The agreement may be a legally binding contract if the parties wish. If the disputants do not reach an agreement, the mediator helps the parties determine if another session would be beneficial.

Scheduling mediation:

All disputants must agree to participate in mediation. The disputant that contacts EYC will receive a free phone consultation to discuss the conflict from their perspective with a mediator. They may be asked questions to help the mediator gain clarity about the situation. The mediator will then contact the other disputant free of charge to invite them to mediation. If all disputants agree to attend, a mutually convenient time for the mediation will be scheduled. Once the $220 fee is submitted, all parties will sign a consent-to-mediate form via DocuSign or Adobe Sign.

Can a mediation be between three or more disputants?

Yes. This does not include someone selected by a disputant to simply accompany them. A "disputant" must be someone directly involved in the conflict. So if a brother and sister are having a conflict and the sister wants to bring her spouse with her, the spouse does not count as a "disputant." However, before the mediation starts, all disputants must agree on who they are comfortable with attending, and everyone must sign the consent-to-mediate form, even if they are a non-disputant.

Fees for mediation:

The Mediator’s fee is $220 per mediation session, which covers a duration of 2 hours. This fee must be paid by the payee prior to every mediation session’s scheduled date. Even if the session lasts less than an hour, the payee is charged $220. This $220 fee is refundable only if the Mediator is unable to attend or conduct the mediation session on the scheduled date, so if a disputant cancels prior to the mediation session's scheduled date, the fee will not be refunded, since all disputants agreed to attend. Disputants may reschedule prior to the mediation sessions schedule date, and in that case, the payee will not be charged another $220 fee. The Mediator may, at his discretion, allow a session to extend beyond the allotted time, for which the payee is not charged for. The Mediator cannot guarantee how many sessions will be needed for disputants to reach a settlement. If additional sessions are necessary, the disputants can schedule another session, and the payee must submit another $220.

Contact EYC for more details.

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