Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Transformative Mediation

What is transformative mediation?

Transformative mediation is a voluntary process of resolving conflicts with the help of a neutral third-party. Transformative mediation is process focused instead of outcome focused. A ‘learn-learn’ atmosphere is fostered with listening and ‘interest-based’ discussion.

What happens during a transformative mediation?

During the transformative mediation process at the Center for Conflict Resolution, impartial facilitators, working in teams of two, bring disputing parties face-to-face. The mediators invite the participants to talk respectfully about the conflict from each participant’s point-of-view, to share their stories and to determine the most helpful way to resolve issues. Participants are encouraged to participate in a process to reach conclusions that are mutually satisfying and realistic for everyone. An agreement is written and signed and both parties receive copies. Following the mediation, the Center for Conflict Resolution provides follow-up contact to ensure all parties continue to be satisfied with the outcome.

How long does the process take?

CCR generally allows two hours for a mediation. In complicated situations, more than one session may be needed.  Participants and mediators decide if more time is needed for a desired outcome to be reached.

Where do the mediations take place?

Mediations take place in a neutral and safe environment. Every effort is made to find mutually convenient locations and times for mediation.  Though most mediations take place at the Center for Conflict Resolution office, many take place in the community at churches, community centers and other locations. The structure of the mediation process and trained co-mediators bring a level of safety and comfort to the situation.

Can I bring witnesses?

The mediation process involves direct discussion between the parties involved. The two mediators and persons in conflict sit in a circle facing each other. It is not necessary to have witnesses present since a disputant isn’t “building a case” against the other person, but parties can bring a support person with them. When one party has a support person present, the other party is offered the change to bring someone with them also.

How effective is mediation?

Agreements reached during mediation are upheld around 90 percent of the time, whereas court ordered outcomes are upheld 45 percent of the time. What makes mediation so effective is the fact that the two parties in conflict meet face-to-face, sharing perspectives and listening to each other to understand the impact the dispute has made on their lives. Often, the conflicting individuals will hear new information that helps them understand the impact words and actions have on other people. When all persons have the goal of “making it right” between them, the process proves to be most effective.

What is the outcome of mediation?

Mediation participants may agree or disagree, but a majority of the cases involve specific details as to how all parties can be mutually satisfied. If physical harm has been done or property damaged, part of the agreement may be restitution in the form of community service or monetary payback. Sometimes the process and discussion serve to help parties find closure and satisfaction.

Is mediation like counseling?

Mediation is beneficial to the parties who take part in it, but it is not counseling. A counselor adds his or her perspective and advice, whereby a mediator stays neutral and allows those present to create their own solutions.

Why should I choose mediation over going to court?

Mediation addresses the harm felt by all parties. Agreements reached during mediations are specific to each situation. Mediation allows the parties to be heard and to address causes, so that it can be made right for the parties involved. This, in turn, helps the community as a whole to heal.

When would mediation take place?

Mediators make every effort to be available at a time that is convenient to both parties. Evenings and weekends are scheduled when needed.

How much does mediation cost?

The Center for Conflict Resolution is a non-profit organization and uses a sliding fee scale to determine mediation fees. Individuals are asked to pay for the mediation services at a level based on annual income. Businesses are charged according to the number of people involved and the amount of time it takes to reach satisfactory conclusions. The Center for Conflict Resolution is interested in helping people deal effectively with conflict, and no one is turned away for an inability to pay. Click here to see our Sliding Fee Scale.

Landlord-Tenant Mediations

Mediation is available to anyone wanting to resolve landlord-tenant issues, either before a case has been filed in court or after.

Mediation is a voluntary meeting between a landlord and tenant, where each person has the chance to give their perspective on the situation and then hear the other person’s perspective.  The parties then work to find a mutually beneficial outcome. Conclusions are written and signed by both parties.

Possible scenarios include the following:

Debbie Bayless provides training in transformative mediation to persons interested in becoming CCR mediators.
Debbie Bayless provides training in transformative mediation to persons interested in becoming CCR mediators.
  •  Payment plans that will enable the tenant to stay in their home
  • Decide on a move-out date
  • Resolve repair concerns
  • Deal with neighborhood problems

Benefits to mediating before you file in court:

  • Reduced expenses if tenant can stay and make it work – landlord won’t have to incur expenses involved with preparing for new tenant.
  • Can the tenant afford to stay?
  • Decide on a workable payment plan that can be kept.
  • Fewer hostile feelings as landlord and tenant part ways.

In Clay County, after court filing has occurred, mediation is offered the morning of your court hearing at no charge. The benefits to mediation at court over going to trial include the following:

  • Reduced legal expenses – You’ll receive your judgment/continuance the morning of your hearing.
  • You may experience fewer hostile feelings toward each other, so any future interactions can be more amicable.

How can I become a mediator?

For more information on becoming a mediator, click here.