The harmony model instead of the tournament model
Mediation is a different manner of conflict management. It opts for the harmony model rather than the tournament model. No polarisation or legal battle, but a preference for a quicker solution whereby the parties themselves remain at the helm and jointly aim for a good solution. The mediator helps the parties to restore the communication and the negotiations towards a broad and sustainable outcome that is acceptable to both parties.
Reasons for opting for mediation include:
- The desire for a quick solution.
- Stalled negotiations.
- Emotions that might escalate the conflict.
- The conflict goes beyond a legal dispute and the relationships between the parties has been disturbed.
- A sensitive issue that requires confidentiality.
In mediation, the parties themselves negotiate, on the basis of their interests, on issues that truly matter to them. Interests are often wrapped up in arguments or are overshadowed by emotions as to who is right or wrong. A mediator creates a safe setting in which the parties can once again engage in constructive dialogue without having to keep their cards close to their chest. The parties play an active role in the mediation process and are themselves the architects of the solutions chosen and the eventual settlement. Self-determination is one of the basic principles of mediation.
The parties themselves therefore determine whether or not they are able and willing to reach an agreement. Another characteristic of mediation is that the parties enter into it voluntarily and agree on confidentiality and secrecy.
Neutral and independent
The mediator is neutral in relation to the parties and the issue that divides them. The mediator’s views on the issue (or on the parties) is irrelevant. He or she is independent and has no interest in the outcome of the mediation. The mediator is also impartial. He or she plays an active and sometimes even guiding role in the process. The mediator does not interfere in the details of the solution, but is often solution-focused.
At Boontje several lawyers have completed the mediator training course. Three registered mediators currently work at our firm: Paul Boontje, Dianne van Moerkerk and Suzan van der Meer. They are all three demonstrably qualified and experienced in the field of employment law.
For more information on mediation, on whether it is suitable for your needs and on the rules of procedure, please contact us directly: