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<xTITLE>Different Approaches, Same Service – Mediation</xTITLE>

Different Approaches, Same Service – Mediation

by Constantin-Adi Gavrila
March 2013 Constantin-Adi Gavrila

The first mediation course is a special moment that each of us holds in our hearts and it represents the foundation of every mediator. The transformational process that we all go through during our training as mediators is materialized by the change in our attitude towards conflict and how to solve them.

When we go through our first training course we look for the perfect recipe based on ultimate rules and after we think we have found it, the reality proves that in fact diversity covers all the dimensions and almost anything is possible.

There are some controversial topics in the mediation field that invariably appear during the initial or advanced training courses, too. Some examples would be making the mediation compulsory, too much involvement of the mediator in reaching an agreement, use of the separate sessions, the necessity of taking notes or using a mediation table, the equitable time that the parties should benefit from in order to reach an agreement, extremely different training standards, etc.

As a matter of fact, we all speak the same language but we learn it and we practice it differently. I do not consider this aspect as being bad in itself. On the contrary, I consider this diversity as an asset for the mediator’s profession.

Before we could ask the clients of the mediation services to be open and able to accept it, we as mediators should understand today’s diversity range of the mediation services. I think that we can learn something out of each approach. Everything will be all right as long as we do not render some mediation techniques absolute in forming our own philosophy about mediation.

If we keep an open mind, each angle will offer us a different perspective, even if those perspectives may be completely opposite. In the end, this is the service that we provide in order to help others and we can apply it in order to discover ourselves and our profession.


Constantin-Adi Gavrila, is mediator and mediation trainer, cofounder and general manager of the Craiova Mediation Center Association, first president of the Romanian Mediation Centers Union and first vice-president of the Romanian Mediation Council. He was honored with the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) International Development Committee’s 2009 Outstanding Leadership Award for outstanding contributions to international conflict resolution.

He mediates cases of all types including commercial, family and real estate, taking a practical and business-oriented approach to dispute resolution. With over ten years of experience as mediator, he is able to quickly grasp the central issue in dispute, using creative approaches to help parties solve seemingly intractable problems.

Mr. Gavrila coordinated as general manager extended programs in mediation: participation at the legislature process in the mediation field, training of mediators, systems development, and information dissemination. He is an IMI certified mediator, a JAMS International panelist, a Mediate.Com author, a Kluwer Mediation Blog contributor and a member of the Independent Standards Commission convened by the International Mediation Institute (IMI).

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