Mediation is a programme that consists of setting up an effective collaboration dynamic between two individuals, or between an individual and a situation, or between two situations.
It entails going way beyond “re-establishing dialogue” or “setting up a win-win strategy”. What characterizes this programme, what makes it necessary, is the redundancy of the interactional sequences that generate pain. All mediation takes place in a situation of crisis. This type of work requires the capacity to handle emotions that run high and that may have a violent edge.
Before taking any action, and throughout the programme, the mediator must bear in mind the following three questions that serve as common themes and that, in the best of cases, ensure their relevance over the course of the programme:
What are the reasons underpinning the apparent breakdown in the team? This requires systemic analysis of the situation.
How come these team workers are failing to work effectively? (This requires the ability to grasp paradoxical reasoning).
How will they leverage my presence to continue to fail? This requires the mediator to take an active stance while continuing to observe their relationship with the protagonists.