Destructive power struggles are costly to people, families, communities, industry and government. There is a better alternative. Conflicts involving schools, environment, rulemaking, police, development, civil and human rights and other important matters can be constructively addressed through mediation and other alternate dispute resolution methods.
An experienced mediatior will help to identify and pull together all those who have a stake in the outcome. Through consensus building, facilitated discussions and other means, the mediator explores the diverse interests of the parties to create mutual understanding and respect. Properly done, medation leads to innovative solutions that have the real support of everyone involved.
The first step is to assess the likelihood that using dispute resolution approaches will lead to a successful resolution of the particular conflict. If the conflict seems amenable to resolution, the next step is to find and engage the right mediator for the
job. The right mediator can get the greatest amount of participation and support for constructive solutions and can help resolve even stubborn conflicts where the positions of the parties seem intractable.
I have served as the mediator for large-scale and multi-party conflicts. I remain an advocate for this approach, and I help groups evaluate the possibilities of using mediation and alternate dispute resolution as a tool to resolve major issues in a principled way.