Our relational model of mediation explained…

Here at UK Mediation, we treat conflict as a failure of dialogue and as a breakdown in an interpersonal relationship: whether that is a relationship in a workplace, a commercial setting, a neighbourhood, within a family, or anywhere that we need to get people talking.

Our relational model, re:talk, has arisen from twenty years of UK Mediation’s pioneering work, Dr Mike Talbot’s own doctoral studies, and lessons learned from conducting thousands of mediation cases.

Watch Dr Mike Talbot explain

Why is a relational model of mediation important?

  • Defines how and why mediation works

    There are well-established practices in mediation, but few people can say why or how they work. It raises the very important question of “What does the mediator add to a conflict resolution process?”

  • Explains and predicts

    It helps to both explain and predict what happens in mediation, and gives a far better understanding of where conflict comes from.

  • Highlights dialogue building

    Not all mediation cases have to reach an ‘agreement’: dialogue-building is an end in itself and allows clearer insight into why mediation usually works and sometimes does not.

  • Helps us improve our practice

    When mediation doesn’t work, a theoretical model can help us to understand how to continually improve what we do.

Restores dialogue

Repairs relationships

Rebuilds teams


Restores dialogue

Conflict begins when dialogue breaks down.

People either ignore one another, launch formal processes against one another, or have full-on hostile confrontations. By recognising where conflict comes from, re:talk gives us a way to bring about dialogue again: getting people to feel safe about having a conversation, speaking directly and frankly, and minimising any future hostility.


Repairs relationships

Our approach gives people a way to say the unsayable.

In the prolonged absence of proper dialogue, people either communicate through gritted teeth, enlist the one-sided support of other people, or begin to build a very negative view of the other person’s intentions. In the confines of a private session, everyone can truly speak for themselves, with the aim of really clarifying one another’s thoughts, feelings, and motivations.


Rebuilds teams

It provides a structure and strategy for getting everyone together as one.

A lack of honest and open dialogue has an even more profound impact in a team or group. Factions can form, team members can feel mobbed or ostracised, and collaboration within the team soon falls apart. With its underlying understanding of how these processes work and an impartial mediator treating everyone the same, re:talk ensures that everyone starts to pull in the same direction.


WEBINAR: The Psychology of Conflict

We recently ran a webinar on the subject of 'The Psychology of Conflict', in which re:talk was discussed in detail.

Based on the pioneering work of our founder and CEO, Dr. Mike Talbot, the webinar looks at the anatomy and psychology of conflict: how we get into disputes, how we get stuck there, and what we need from an impartial third party in order to resolve a range of conflicts.

More webinars
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