Mediation is defined as a method of extrajudicial conflict resolution in common agreement. To reach such an agreement, the participants work in an independent self responsible way with the help of an impartial mediator. The mediator is responsible for structuring the work process where the participants get enabled to understand the deeper reasons of their conflict and likewise find constructive solutions which respect the interests of all parties.
Mediation is based on a positive and humanistic idea of mankind and works with well established methods that are scientifically recognized.
There are some basic requirements that have to be fulfilled in order to guarantee a successful mediation: Voluntariness, Openness, confidentiality and impartiality of the mediator.
Voluntariness means that nobody can be forced to participate in a mediation and anybody can leave a mediation at any time if he has lost hope in a positive accomplishment of this process. The idea of voluntariness cannot always be strictly followed and remains, under certain circumstances, a theoretical value (for example in a victim/offender mediation or a mediation between employees of a company or organisation, where a court, superiors or circumstances can exercise pressure upon individuals to participate). In any case, it remains one of the targets of the mediator to convince the participants of the high value of this method by reaching good results with their common work.
Openness means that the participants express their wishes and needs openly and honestly in order to guarantee that they are really taken into consideration during the process of solution finding.
Confidentiality means that anything that is been said within a mediation remains confidential and can not be taken outside mediation, unless the participants agree the contrary.
Impartiality of the mediator means that the mediator can’t have any common interest with any of the parties and must be economically, psychologically, morally and spiritually independent from all participants. This means that he can dedicate exactly the same attention and care to all participants without being inclined in any way to the aims of either party.
The methods of mediation can be applied in any kind of conflict no matter the size, context or age. Mediation can be applied in internal company conflicts, family conflicts or political conflicts as soon and as long as all participants to the conflict agree to use this method.