Traditionally, the method of conflict resolution is an adversarial approach by placing the dispute to the court through litigation. However, this is an expensive, uncertain and time consuming method. Moreover, litigation tends to emphasize and exaggerate differences and thus drives people further apart. Contrary to litigation in courts, mediation is able to resolve disputes in a more time and costs effective manner.
Mediators use trained techniques to open & to facilitate dialogue between disagreeing parties, aiming to help them to reach an agreement. A mediator is a trained person with professional techniques on negotiation & mediation. He or she creates a safe environment for disputing parties, works with them so that they can understand the nature of their conflict and of each other in a better way. Rather than driving parties further apart, a mediator will help them to find their common ground and mutual interests so that they may reach an agreement that will work better for both of them.
In Hong Kong, it is a general practice that a neutral third party, the mediator, assists disagreeing parties to negotiate their own settlement (facilitative mediation). If all the parties agree that the mediator may express a view on what might be a fair or reasonable settlement, it is an evaluative mediation.
Mediation is a private, confidential and voluntary process. An accredited professional mediator must be impartial and shall conduct mediation in a structural, timetabled dynamic way that an ordinary negotiation lacks.
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