Mediation is a flexible and process-oriented method that is not confined to a rigid structure.
The five main phases, however, can be summarized as follows:
I – Introductory meeting
The mediator opens the mediation. He or she discusses the characteristics of the process, explains the rules and documents the meeting. The conclusion is an agreement to go ahead with mediation.
II – Discussion of the conflict situation
The parties provide their views of the conflict or problem. The themes that will dominate the mediation are defined.
III – Exploring interests and needs
At this stage the hidden interests and emotional needs of both parties need to be worked out. It is this realization that opens the way to a sustainable and appropriate solution for all parties.
IV – Discussion of options and finding a common solution
The parties work out options for an agreement together and evaluate them. The goal is to find a win-win solution that will benefit all parties.
V – Closing the mediation
In this phase, the agreement reached in the mediation process is concretized and recorded. If necessary, the agreement is implemented legally (for example, by judicial or administrative settlement).
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