Family Mediation Services: Helping to find the light.
Family Mediation Services is a process that helps people in conflict to create a resolution based in shared ownership and responsibility. Family Mediation is different from most other types of mediation. Family Mediation involves emotion. People are placed into conflict with others who care about them. Or at least at some point in time, cared about them. It’s not like a mediation involving a business contract or service contract.
Generally, there are four negative ways people can approach conflict. First people can deny or avoid the conflict. While this may “smooth the waters” a little bit. It does little or nothing to resolve the conflict. In fact, it makes it worse by not addressing the real issue(s). Second, people can use anger in order to blame, accuse or intimidate the other person. They win, the other looses. Again, the basic issue(s) is not really resolved. It’s just that the other person has been defeated. Third, similar to anger, some people can use power to address issues. Much like anger, in this case there is a definite “winner and loser”. While the people have been neatly categorized, the issue(s) are not addressed. Four, some people may choose to manipulate, appearing to be part of the situation, but in fact taking advantage of the situation.
All four of these styles to nothing to create a resolution. In fact, each of these styles will extend and expand the conflict. So, what to do? I believe that fundamental strategy can be used successfully to address each of these styles.
A Positive Approach to Conflict Styles
Firstly, a couple fundamental beliefs about conflict and conflict resolution.
Successful resolutions are not about “getting a win”. It may not even be about getting a “win/win”. I prefer to look at it as a “gain”. I do this because to me, a “win” implies an end, a finish. While a “gain” implies a success, with room to grow and to change. That flexibility is critical to any conflict. Situations change, therefore, so should our resolutions. Which brings me to a second fundamental belief.
Successful resolutions need to have a mutual benefit. Conflicts are a result of shared disagreement, each with responsibility. Resolutions need to have the same shared ownership and desire. So, before working on solutions – work on establishing a mutual desire to resolve. The process of coming to a resolution is more important the the actual resolution.
With that in mind; What are the best ways to resolve conflict(s)? What are the best ways to address conflict styles? When entering into a mediation it is important to have an open-mind, positive intentions and an honest point of view. An open-mind to listen to other people’s story. A positive intention to actively work towards a mutual solution. An honest attitude to work towards creating an environment of trust and respect.
These are the tools that can be used to create a mutually acceptable resolution.