Closing the mediation and determining the course of action for the parties is important to ensure lasting effect. If as Bush and Folger suggest that the mediations role is not only to find solutions to people’s problems but to change people themselves for the better, then some transformation in the parties or their relationship may be an appropriate outcome.
Often however, the parties may have to continue to communicate for years in relation to the ongoing concern such as bringing up children, and therefore the drafting of an agreement that reflects the resolution in a form acceptable by the parties may be constructed. Empowerment of each other individually and recognition of each other’s situation pave the way for a mutually agreeable settlement.
The executed agreement may have been reached in an interested-based, distributive or integrative way or a combination of these. What is most important however is post settlement. If the mediators role is not only to find solutions to people’s problems but to change people themselves for the better, then the resulting transformation in the parties or their relationship, is more likely to be sustainable, reducing the number of unresolved issues or leaving these for further negotiation or discussion.
More on transformative mediation next week.
- Bush, R A. Baruch and Folger, J P., 2004: The Promise of Mediation: The Transformative Approach to Conflict, 2nd ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
- Bush, R A. Baruch and Folger, J P., 2007: The Promise of Mediation, pp 266-275
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