We can choose anyone to be a mediator, but a mediator should also possess the mediation techniques in order to facilitate a smooth mediation.
The mediator is considered extremely important because the mediator has to lead parties to resolve disputes with mutual satisfaction. The mediator’s duties involve;
- Facilitate and manage negotiation between the parties
- Organize meetings for a discussion
- Act as a medium for each party to express their feeling and pressure
- Help translate and interpret the parties’ speech to align with their intention as much as possible
- Explore choices of possible resolutions
From the above, it can be seen that the mediator’s roles are to a substantial degree; thus, the mediator must first be trained. The mediator has to encourage the parties to accept and abide by the agreement in order to find a consensus solution for the parties. As a result, various tactics and training are required to act as mediators.
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The mediator should have active listening skills and express their interest appropriately to encourage each party to speak or express their true intention. The mediator then observes the speaker’s body language such that the speaker knows they are being heard without judgment or prejudice. Further to this, questioning abilities is also an essential trait that the mediator should have, not just active listening capabilities.
The questioning technique is one of many methods that the mediator typically employs to find facts from each party and clarify the disputed issues. Questioning would allow the parties to rethink about the appropriation of each party’s requests or the points of concern that should be addressed further. There are several methods for truth-finding, such as;
1. Questioning techniques that depend on behavior and appropriation of each circumstance
2. The technique of using persistent questions so that the disputants could tell the truth clearly
3. Questioning technique to clarify a point
4. Summary technique to build mutual understanding
5. Techniques to encouraging a discussion
Those mentioned above are basic skills and techniques that a mediator should know. There are many techniques to help facilitate a smooth mediation. Being a mediator is not an easy feast but still achievable. THAC provides a training course for mediators and arbitrators for those interested in applying. For more details, please visit www.thac.or.th, or Facebook page THAC. You can also watch a short video from THAC to learn more about mediation techniques here in part 1 and part 2.