Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution that is getting increasingly common for various small-scale disputes. One of the most prominent usages of mediation is in sports, where it is being extensively used to resolve conflicts on and off the ground.
Mediation is a good fit for sports disputes because of the quicker resolution times and low costs. The mediator acts as a facilitator between the disputants and helps them resolve their conflicts through a mutual agreement. The proceedings of mediation depend upon the good character of the mediator, as they are the person ultimately responsible for the mediation proceedings to be carried out smoothly.
How do we know a person would make a good mediator? First, a good mediator would likely have these five characteristics.
When you invite someone to know more about your feud and seek their support to help resolve it, it is clear that you are placing great trust in that individual. An upstanding mediator must be trustworthy and not break the faith all disputants put into him. The mediator must ensure complete confidentiality of the proceedings as a hallmark of the trust. Remember: disputants at mediation would share essential details about their dispute with the mediator, which requires a great deal of confidence. They trust the mediator to keep the information private and be used only for mediation.
If the mediator fails to establish themselves as trustworthy, disputants would not be at ease with them and may not share critical details about the dispute. As a result, the entire process of mediation would be ultimately derailed. On the other hand, if the mediator establishes themselves as trustworthy, the disputants will grow more comfortable with the mediation process.
A mediator’s job is to facilitate a conversation between all disputants with an open mind. The goal of mediation is to remove misunderstandings regarding the dispute and suggest a course of action for dispute resolution. The mediator, therefore, must not show biases or favoritism toward any party. They must keep an open mind and look at all the evidence impartially. The mediator must ensure that they are treating all disputants equally. If there is as much as a hint of partiality on the mediator’s behalf, it will make the mediation proceedings controversial. This may result in a party not acknowledging the results of the mediation or not being willing to come to a resolution. In either case, a biased mediator could severely harm the mediation proceedings.
What is the primary job of the mediator, if not to initiate and facilitate a discussion between the disputants? How could a mediator fulfill this fundamental role if they are perceived as unfriendly and cold?
An essential requirement to be a good mediator is to be approachable. They should reek of compassion and comfort and always present a friendly outlook. A good mediator must have impeccable social skills and know how to talk to people respectfully and warmly. An appropriate sense of humor and a sense of optimism would let the disputants see that they can rely on you.
Good social skills are essential in almost any job, but a mediator’s job entirely depends on them knowing how to conduct themselves socially. Without this crucial skill, they would not be able to carry out their mediator duties for long.
Good mediators are very perceptive of the situation. Being sensitive and possessing an analytical mind could help the mediator to understand the nature of the dispute and the possible resolutions. In addition, mediators must have a creative problem-solving brain that allows them to come up with the best approach to resolve conflicts. A perceptive mediator would understand the dynamics of the disputants and the complexities of the issue at hand, which would help them with mediating the problem. Mediators who are not perceptive will have difficulty identifying risks and coming up with acceptable solutions to all the disputants involved.
Dedication is a crucial trait of a good mediator. It is a necessary trait to succeed in every profession, and mediation is no different. A mediator would have to dedicate a significant time of his life to studying and understanding the case before the mediation proceedings. The proceedings themselves are a day-long event and, in some cases, take more than a day. A mediator who does not dedicate time and energy to the case would not be able to bring a fair conclusion to the problem. On the other hand, a dedicated mediator would impress the disputants with their work in resolving the dispute fairly.
Mediation is a job that requires specific soft skills. A good mediator must strive to develop these soft skills and characteristics to succeed at their job. They must be trustworthy and keep the proceedings strictly confidential, so they should be impartial without bias toward any disputant. Mediators must possess excellent social skills and maintain a friendly and approachable outlook. They must be perceptive of the situation and show dedication to their work. These characteristics are a must to become a good mediator.