Conflict Resolution

by Aled Davies

The benefits of doing it right

It’s a wonder that more organisations, people and groups are not turning to collaborative and informal means of resolving conflict, especially when you consider the general success rate achieved by mediation. About 80 per cent of conflicts that people opt to resolve through mediation reach a successful outcome that meets the needs of both parties. This is often achieved in a single day. Some of the major potential benefits are explained below.

  • Cost efficiency – most mediations reach settlement within the space of one day. The focus is on resolving key issues and not on exhausting every avenue simply to substantiate your case or refute the other party’s evidence.
  • Speedy resolution – litigation can drag on for weeks, months and years. Mediation is often done and dusted within a short time allowing the parties to move forward.
  • Confidentiality – meetings are private and confidential; parties can therefore be open and candid with each other without fear of others hearing the details through the grapevine or reading the outcome of a trial in the press.
  • It preserves ongoing relationships – the focus is on both parties reaching a settlement or agreement with which they are both satisfied. The agreement must meet their needs and satisfy their interests so they can both win. This is invaluable in situations where there are ongoing commercial relationships at stake.
  • Empowerment – mediation is a voluntary process and parties consent to take part and work together to find solutions. This is a far more empowering approach and means that parties remain committed to their outcomes.

Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict – alternatives to passive or aggressive responses, alternatives to violence.

Dorothy Thompson