When does mediation make sense?

Mediation sounds like conflict, difficulties and rising dust. Yes, mediation makes sense here. However, it is often worth starting earlier and getting to the bottom of the interests behind different points of view. This does not always require a comprehensive mediation, perhaps a mediative clarification or a workshop that enables the conflict parties to understand each other based on the methods from mediation is enough. Every professional sportsman has a coach. Likewise a conflict coach in the form of a mediator can also be useful and bring motion into deadlocked issues.

How does mediation work?

Mediation is a structured procedure, i.e. one step builds on the previous one.

  • At the beginning there is an overview of the procedure, and the framework (time, rules, etc.) is established among the participants.
  • Now the conflict parties look at what exactly they want to clarify and what they want to start with.
  • Then the participants work on a first topic in more depth. Everyone states what their interests are in relation to the topic. (Interests - in contrast to rigid positions or demands - offer the possibility for different solutions).
  • Now the parties look for options on how to meet everyone's interests.
  • In the negotiation phase, the participants reach a partial and finally a comprehensive final agreement. The process is concluded with the signing of the agreement.

Where can a mediation take place?

It is often worthwhile to change the usual environment for a mediation and to meet in a neutral or unencumbered place. Basically, you just need an infrastructure with enough flipcharts and walls to put them and other working materials.
If necessary for specific reasons, I also offer online mediation. I had good experiences with this during the pandemic.

How much is required for a mediation?

That cannot be said in general terms and depends on many factors. In most cases, however, mediation leads to a solution more quickly than court proceedings. Or - in the case of low-threshold conflicts in business - the time spent on mediation is more than made up for by the subsequent smoother cooperation.

Does mediation always proceed in exactly the same way?

Central to mediation is the focus on the interests and needs that lie behind the positions. This core element is always needed. But there are different methods depending on the context and the number of people. I work out the best procedure after a preliminary discussion. Sometimes comprehensive mediation is not necessary, clarification according to mediative principles is sufficient.

With up to how many people does mediation work?

Mediation can be done with two or more persons. Mediation also works with many people and with large groups, then it simply needs appropriate methodological adjustments.

Why do mediators often work in pairs?

There are several reasons: Two mediators see more than a single person, they can exchange ideas, take turns in leading and taking notes, two genders can be represented and so on. There are cases that I only take on in pairs with a co-mediator.

What does mediation cost?

Mediation is usually much cheaper than court proceedings. In situations that would not come to court, the better cooperation (or better living together) after the resolution justifies the costs.
Depending on the situation, the costs and time frame are clarified with the participants at the beginning of the process, or I make a proposal for action with a concrete offer.

What if not everyone wants to participate voluntarily?

In principle, mediation requires voluntary participation. Only if the parties involved want a solution can they reach it together. In business life, mediation may be "prescribed" by superiors. Voluntariness can then be increased by making mediation only one of several options to choose from.


Is success guaranteed with mediation?

Mediation has very high success rates, especially if the conflict parties participate voluntarily and are thus willing to work out a solution. However, there is no guarantee, and because of the voluntary nature of the process, all parties involved have the option of breaking off the process. This means that all parties can end the mediation if they have good reasons for doing so.