Comments: Mediation's Future

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Michael , -0.130000     03/23/14
Part of the problem is that we misunderstand our product. We mostly still sell mediation as a cheaper, faster, less painful form of conflict resolution. In that sense, we are competing with the courts. In terms of justice (and the human nature that seeks it) mediation won't ever displace the court system. Personally, I think we need to be in the peace-making business (as opposed to the conflict resolving one). Peace is bloody hard work. It asks us to be awake and aware grown-ups when we'd much rather be vindictive children. Fair enough.And its precisely because it asks us to be more, to grow, to stretch -- that its worth doing. Mediation is about becoming more human, more humane. Conflict as a path of development. Do we need to find better language to be more marketable -- yes. Might we need to rethink our practice -- probably. Does peace-making matter -- certainly. Let's see what happens if we sell peace.

Jacques Joubert, Cape Town     02/19/14
Thanks for this realistic yet hopeful assessment of the future of mediation. There is the danger though that your argument simplifies mediation as a soft option in which justice does not matter. Perhaps people who are fearful of confrontation prefer to hide behind attorneys, and therefore choose litigation. Can not resist this curve ball! Woza Mediation South Africa