Significance of communication in mediation
Communication means imparting or exchanging of information by speaking , writing or using some other medium.
In mediation , communication is the core of mediation . As in mediation the parties get the full Opportunity to speak their self out . Communication is not just talking and listening . It is a process of information transmission . The motive of communication is to convey a message which can be through words , gestures or both . Basically the communication should be done in such a manner that the sender and the receiver shall understand the information in the same way as it was intended to be conveyed .
The purpose of communication could be any or all of the following:-
- To Express our feelings, thoughts, ideas , emotions and desire to others
- To make other understand what and how we feel and think .
- To derive a benefit or advantage .
- To Express an unmet need or demand .
Thus, a communication would involve :
A Sender : who sends a message.
A Receiver : who receives the message.
Channel : the medium through which a message is transmitted via words or gestures or expression.
Message: when a thought , feelings, ideas, emotions , knowledge are transmitted into words, gestures , acts , expression then the communication is converted into a message.
Encoding : transforming message, information into a form that can be sent to the receiver to be decoded correctly.
Decoding : understanding the message or information.
Response : answer to a communicated message.
Communication maybe verbal or non verbal
Verbal and Non Verbal communication
Verbal communication is transmission of information or message through spoken words . Whereas non verbal communication is transmission of message through gestures, written words or attitude.
Non Verbal communication is often move spontaneous than verbal communication . It can provide more accurate information as it taken place under less conscious control.
Communication skills in mediation
Communication skills in mediation include:-
- Active listening
2. Listening with Empathy
3. Body Language
4. Asking the right question
- Active listening :- A mediator is required to be a good listener as parties participate in mediation with varying degree of optimism , anger , distress , confusion , fear etc. If the parties understand that they will be listened to and understand , it will help in trust building and they can share the responsibility to resolve the dispute. An active listener listens for both what is said and what is not said.
The commonly used techniques of active listening by mediator.
- Summarising : Mediator outlines the main points made by speaker.
- Reflecting : It is a way where mediation confirm they have heard and understood the feelings expressed by speaker .
- Re-framing : Used by mediator to help the parties move from position to interests.
- Acknowledging: In this mediator verbally recognizes what the speaker has said without agreeing or disagreeing.
- Deferring : In this mediator postpones the discussion until later.
- Encouraging: Mediator encourages the parties if they feel upset .
- Restating : In this mediation reassures the statements he has heard from speak.
- Silence : Mediator should understand the silence of parties .
- Order : Mediator sets the sequence of topics, claims , defenced.
- Listening with Empathy :-
It means the ability of mediatior to understand and appreciate the feelings and need of parties and then convey to them .
The appropriate body language of the listener indicates to the speaker that he is attentive. Example : symmetry of posture , smiling face , leaning gently towards the parties for listening.
- Asking the right question
Mediator must gathers good quality of information by asking relevant questions . The timings of questions is very important. As the right questions help the parties and the mediators to understand what the issues are .