Mediation is one of the prominent form of Alternative Dispute Resolution where the parties to the dispute instead of taking a matter before the court, choose to resolve it by an appointing a neutral third party known as mediator, who then conducts a series of negotiation between them and reach to solution through peaceful and conciliatory methods. This process does not have any predefined procedure or any necessary requirements but is a flexible process and relies heavily on the nature of parties, their will to resolve the dispute and most importantly, the pacifying and placatory skills of the mediator.
Some of the essentials skills that the mediator should have up in their sleeves to resolve a dispute in the quickest way possible are:
- Neutrality: the parties instead of taking the case to court take the matter before a mediator. Thus it is expected of the mediator that he does not distinguish between the parties and instead of taking sides of anyone of them, remain neutral. This is a very necessary condition to develop trust and faith of both the parties in the process.
- Understanding of human nature: the mediator should have a basic knowledge of human nature. This is necessary because the dispute between the parties culminate first hand due to the difference that arise between their needs, motives, behaviour or conditions. So in order to resolve the bitterness and feeling of distrust between the two parties, it is necessary that the mediator has knowledge to the working of human behaviour. This could help the mediator manipulate the feelings and thoughts of parties towards each other into a more peaceful route of negotiation and conciliation.
- Persuasive and Communication skills: a mediator should have a good command over language and his communicatory skills should be well polished so that he or she can communicate to the client exactly as what is needed. Mediator should also have a persuasive power so that the parties listen to him otherwise the attempt to solve dispute from mediation will itself fail
- Legal and Technical knowledge of the field: a mediator should be well versed in law and it is his duty to guide the parties to dispute towards a lawful solution. Also, some times, mediation is opted by the parties because of the technical nature of conflict which need specialised knowledge in a particular field. It is necessary that in such case, mediator should be well versed and adapted with such knowledge so as to make the purpose of mediation successful.
- Confidentiality: it is necessary that the mediator respects the privacy and confidentiality of the parties. usually parties to dispute choose mediation due to confidentiality compared to the proceedings that are held in an open court. Thus it is the duty of mediator to respect and maintain it. He should therefore not disclose any information related to the dispute, the arguments presented before the parties and the settlement drawn out by them.
Thus it would not be wrong to say that mediator plays an important role in the process of mediation. As there exists no set of defined laws on how the process is expected to work, it depends wholly on the fact that how good the mediator handles the issue and how quickly these skills help them reach a solution.