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Conflict Partners - Self-development
Conflict Partners - Self-development

If the disputes in your couple or in the team have not led to anything for a long time, problems have not been resolved, it may be time to contact a mediator. This specialist will become a mediator between you and bring the relationship to a new level.

MEDIATION - negotiations built by a mediator-mediator in such a way that the parties to the conflict have the opportunity to independently come to a mutually beneficial agreement. The use of this technology presupposes the presence of a professionally trained mediator-mediator, as well as adherence to the principles of voluntariness, confidentiality, neutrality of the mediator and the activeness of the parties.

A strange profession

Outwardly, mediation is very simple! Four principles and five stages on which it is based. Well, and a few more rules that should be followed during the negotiations themselves. The most unusual of them is “to communicate through a mediator”, that is, participants cannot talk to each other directly, but only by addressing a mediator.

It turns out, frankly, not entirely familiar, but, as practice shows, it is very effective! If you think about it, then what good is it for them to speak directly, if by the time they appear at the mediation, the parties to the conflict, as a rule, have been fighting in court for more than one year and not only hear, but also do not really want to see each other. Everyone is already tired, money is running out, a lot of time and effort has been spent, and only the lawyers who have income from these battles were satisfied. However, there are times when lawyers have neither the strength, nor the patience, nor the desire, because the fee has long expired, but you still have to go to court regularly.

I'm talking about our realities now. In the same countries where mediation has been working for a long time, people get it before the trial. As a result, one of the big advantages of participating in it is the saving of time, effort and money.

But back to the mediation procedure itself. What is its special effectiveness? The fact is that the mediation approach itself consists of several components, each of which in itself is an effective means of achieving mutual understanding in the negotiation process.

The meeting of two persons is like the contact of two chemicals: if there is even the slightest reaction, both elements change

Carl Gustav Jung

Professional position

The first such component is the "professional position of a mediator", which combines "neutrality" towards the parties to the conflict, "valuelessness" of judgments and the ability to look at the situation "from the outside" (well, or, as mediators say, "go to the balcony"). In fact, this is manifested in the fact that the mediator is equally benevolent to both sides of the conflict and does not take sides in it. If the mediator cannot be neutral about the situation or the participants, then according to the rules, he is obliged to withdraw from the negotiations and invite the parties to choose another specialist.

The mediator should have nothing to do with either the conflict itself or its participants. By and large, no matter how strange it may sound, he should not be interested at all in whether the parties agree. His job is to organize the negotiation process itself. A mediator also cannot act as an expert at the same time, that is, somehow assess the essence of the dispute and suggest solutions to the parties.

Effective communication

The second, no less important component is "communication skills". To put it simply, the ability to talk to people in such a way as to help them hear and understand each other. For this, the mediator needs to be able to: “listen actively”, “work with emotions”, ask “open-ended” questions, paraphrase, summarize, and use “neutral” language.

Most of these techniques are well mastered by specialists from other "helping professions" - psychologists, physicians, social workers. But the use of "neutral language" is perhaps the most specific specifically for negotiators and mediators in conflicts.

The fact is that a person who is in conflict begins to acutely and distortedly understand the messages of the opposite side addressed to him. As a result, their communication in terms of its effectiveness is more reminiscent of the "conversation between the blind and the deaf." In order to "cleanse" information from unnecessary emotional and semantic load and convey it to the addressee, this very "neutral" language is used.

"Neutral" language

The essence of this technique is that the mediator in his retelling "cleans" the message he heard from what can "hook" the other side - generalizations, subjective conclusions and assessments, irony, direct insults, mockery, and so on - while trying as accurately as possible convey the meaning of the statement, without missing out on all sorts of details and details.

Strictly speaking, "neutral language" is one of the varieties of a technique called "paraphrasing", or, as mediators say, "paraphrase". It has long been noticed that if a person is "returned" what he said in other words, then he perceives it as reliable proof that he is carefully listened to, understood and accepted. As a result, he gradually calms down and begins to better understand himself and others.

How it looks in practice is perfectly illustrated by an old anecdote about kindergarten kids and electrician soldiers.

Anecdote in the subject

In Soviet times, in the senior group of the kindergarten, the kids suddenly began to swear “like shoemakers”. Frightened teachers began to find out what had happened, and remembered that last week two soldiers from the sponsored military unit were repairing an electrician for the kindergarten. We turned to the unit commander, and he summoned his recent assistants to his office. And they had a conversation, during which it turned out that at some point, Private Ivanov, who was standing on a ladder with a soldering iron, accidentally dripped red-hot solder onto the forehead of Private Sidorov, who was holding the ladder below. And to the commander's question, "What happened after that?" Private Sidorov replied: “And I told him, Private Ivanov, and said:“Private Ivanov, don't you see that red-hot tin is dripping on your comrade's forehead ?!" This opus of a resourceful servant is the most magnificent example of a virtuoso neutral "paraphrase" *** used in mediation. By this analogy, almost any text lends itself to paraphrasing.

*** Periphrase - short, abbreviated, but quite accurate in meaning, the psychologist-consultant's repetition of what the client told him in the process of confession.

Working with emotions

In addition, the mediator also “works with emotions,” that is, reduces the intensity of their manifestation among negotiators to the level where they can “turn on their head”. This is done quite simply - you can directly ask about what a person is feeling, or "by eye" determine his emotional state and name it, and in some cases you can even share your emotions.

Mediation values

The third essential component of successful conflict mediation is the value system on which mediation is based. So, you will not be able to become a good mediator if you sincerely do not believe that, despite the fact that all people are different, they have equal rights; that each specific person has the right to realize his interests and each person has the right to his point of view; that a person knows better than others what he needs and what is good for him, and what is bad, well, and so on …

Battle of like-minded people

Sometimes things that are fantastic from the point of view of a common man in the street happen during mediation. Once in court between two very wealthy families, grandiose battles unfolded over the inheritance left from a distant relative - an inferior one-room apartment on the very outskirts of the city. Considering that the cost of the apartment was relatively small, even the lawyers of the parties understood that the reason why they could not agree for so long was not in the legal plane. During the mediation, it turned out that both sides wanted to give this apartment as gratitude to the woman who had been caring for their paralyzed relative for many years, and the long-standing quarrel did not allow them to calmly discuss the situation all this time.

Participants in another mediation were a retired military man with his fifteen-year-old son, whose cell phone was stolen on the beach, and one of two guys who were officially accused of the theft. In the end, the victim's father hired a good lawyer to defend the "swindler." And the whole point is that the accused young man took the blame for the theft, which was committed by the second thief. The boy too highly appreciated the "male friendship" with an older friend (who, by the way, already had problems with the law) and until recently did not admit his innocence, plunging his mother into despair, raising him independently and coming with him to mediation. Such a friendly honor touched the heart of the accuser and, thanks to mediation, led to such an unexpected ending.

Working mechanisms

Such a view of life in modern realities may seem idealistic, but without it it is impossible to put into practice those fundamental provisions on which the mediation approach to conflict resolution is based. Mediation works only when the mediator understands that each participant in the conflict has his own share of responsibility for its occurrence, that violence, deception and coercion do not work in mediation, that mediation is based on the cooperation of the conflicting parties, no matter how unusual it may sound to an untrained ear …

As mediators say, in order to come to a satisfactory solution, the parties to the conflict during negotiations must turn from “rivals” into “partners in the conflict” who jointly try to find a way out of the current situation. At the same time, mediation is not looking for an answer to the favorite domestic question "Who is to blame?", But prefers to look for answers to the question "What to do now?" It is difficult to deny mediation here in pragmatic logic, because it proceeds from the fact that the situation is already what it is, and now let's think about what to do with it in order to get out of it with minimal losses.

Ideally, of course, it's great if the conflict can be resolved according to the "win-win" formula, that is, so that all participants are extremely happy with the result. But in practice, people already positively perceive the fact that they independently manage to develop a solution, and not obey the will of the court.

The fundamental difference

You, of course, ask: "And the worse is the court decision?" And nothing is worse! It's just that it is in a completely different logic, which cares first of all for everything to be “according to the law”, and not about making people feel good and comfortable (unfortunately, these “measurements” practically never coincide). In addition, in judicial logic it is difficult to take into account such things as, for example, the joint life history of the participants in the conflict, their life "offsets", family and friendship feelings and many more subtle things that constitute the essence of human relationships.

So, during mediation negotiations, the parties just have the opportunity to discuss and take into account all this "human" component of the conflict and develop a solution that will take it into account.


Face retention law


In the case of work with spouses, in my opinion, it would be very important to distinguish between family mediation and consultation with a family psychologist. After all, so to speak, “outwardly” the reasons for contacting these two fundamentally different specialists are identical: a serious conflict, the inability to come to an agreement, emotional intensity, pushed to the limit. A couple can turn to both a mediator and a psychologist in completely different periods: being either in a pre-divorce or post-divorce state, or directly in the process of divorce. What is the essential difference? A married couple who contacts a mediator, as a rule, expects a clear plan of action in specific conditions. But for psychological counseling, on the contrary, it is precisely such questions that are put at the forefront. In any case, work as a psychologist,and a mediator helps to preserve the emotional forces of the parties, to save "face", to find the most compromise options for resolving a conflict situation.


candidate of psychological sciences

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