Have you heard about Mediation? Don’t mix it up with meditation and it’s got nothing to do with yoga mats or spiritual awareness… Mediation is a proven and effective method to resolve conflicts while preserving the relationship between the parties involved. While Singapore is considered a Mediation hub within South East Asia, not everybody is aware of the benefits of Mediation yet.
Mediation offers a high degree of participation to all parties involved – there is no judge to prescribe the outcome, but it is in the parties’ hands to find the best solution, which fulfills the interests of everybody to the highest degree possible. Yes, there is always some compromise involved but often it is possible to reach an agreement (called settlement) that is beneficial, involves creative solutions, and costs far less than a long period of legal proceedings would have.
The Mediator acts as a facilitator to guide the parties through the discussions and therefore, solutions are found with a low level of external intrusions, making the process minimally invasive. This helps to enable amicable solutions, ensuring buy-in from all affected parties, and the preservation of the relationship, which sometimes has been built over years and should not be discontinued because of a (one-time) conflict. The Mediator always acts independently and confidentially, leaving the option for further legal proceedings open, should it still be required. But in most cases, this is not necessary as a settlement is found through Mediation.
Mediation can be used for all industries and all kinds of conflicts, such as commercial conflicts between customers and companies, between businesses (B2B Mediation), within the workplace, and within the social field, such as within families, with schools, neighbors, and friends.
Mediation and Corona
Today, in view of the current world health crisis with COVID-19 taking up a lot of attention and creating unprecedented conflicts, mediation deserves even more attention and should be considered in any conflict: Suppliers not delivering due to social distancing measures, clients not paying for services received as they might not be desired any longer due to cost saving measures or budget shifts, human resource conflicts due to dismissals or inability to pay employees, shipping issues for products that were not received on time, family tensions due to people staying at home more – the list is almost endless. Before drastic measures and legal proceedings are initiated in a rush, Mediation should be considered to allow for conflict resolution without risking long-term relations due to a short-term crisis.
Especially small and medium sized companies can benefit from Mediation as they often do not have the ability to involve in-house counsel or pay for expensive external legal advice. Mediation is therefore a great, fast option to move beyond a conflict and get back to business, without losing face or breaking up relationships with otherwise trusted business partners, suppliers, or clients.
Normally, Mediation sessions take place in person due to the human interaction and the ability to read non-verbal communication clues if everybody is in the same room as well. However, experience has already shown that Mediation is also possible in a virtual setting, with parties interacting on Zoom or other online platforms. There are certain rules that need to be taken into consideration (e.g. confidentiality, no recording, etc.) but technology is advancing rapidly and makes online Mediation a valid option today and in the future.
Dr. Beatrice Herrmann is an Associate Mediator with the Singapore Mediation Centre (https://www.mediation.com.sg) and an accredited Mediator with the Swiss Chamber of Commercial Mediation (https://skwm.ch).
Gecco Pte. Ltd. is a consulting and advisory company, able to support you and your organization in the areas of transformation, development, and conflict resolution. It’s sister company in Switzerland is Shiok AG. Get in touch if you want to learn more about our services or have a conflict to solve.