Mediation is a multi-level, structured conflict settlement procedure that is successfully practiced worldwide. Mediation is applicable wherever two or more individuals or stakeholders want to develop a solution that is self-contained and acceptable to all parties.
In Austria, in addition to the well-known fields of separation, divorce and family mediation, mediation has also become increasingly important in other areas, such as economics, the environment and schools. Even within associations, parties and other institutions (such as public administration), mediation is increasingly used as a professional “communication structuring and clarification aid” in disputes.
Conflict partners who are in an obvious impasse and are no longer able to communicate with each other, i.e. cannot get ahead “alone”, can work together in the framework of a mediation to produce a satisfying result for all parties concerned. Even after legal action has been taken, the use of mediation, under certain conditions, makes sense.
With the help of mediators – the neutral, independent, all-party and discreet companions of the conflict resolution process – the participants learn that fair solutions are possible for all parties involved. In mediation, there are no winners and losers. Through the confliction resolution process it is possible to produce a “win-win” result for everyone involved.
- Mediation allows conflicts to be dealt with with mutual respect for all
- Mediation helps to find balanced and workable solutions that work for everyone.
- Mediation saves those affected from grueling conflicts, long legal proceedings and high costs.
- Mediation makes it possible to develop new perspectives for future conflict situations in order to avoid confrontation or helplessness.
Mediation talks are strictly confidential. Mediators are bound to secrecy and may not pass any information about the content of the mediation on even to courts.
Mediators do not judge. They make no decisions.
Mediators are responsible for the process of mediation and ensure that the discussions that have begun are ongoing.
Solutions are developed by the parties themselves – under the guidance of the mediators.
Mediators are careful to compensate for any existing power imbalances and they make sure that the rules of conversation are respected. Furthermore, they draw attention to situations where the considered arrangements are unrealizable or unlawful. They also ensure that the participants become aware of their own feelings and interests often hidden behind the dispute.