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 24 years of UK Mediation’s pioneering work, Dr Mike Talbot’s own doctoral studies, and lessons learned from conducting thousands of mediation cases.
There are well-established practices in mediation, but few people can say why or how they work. “What does the mediator add?"
It helps to both explain and predict what happens in mediation, and gives a far better understanding of where conflict comes from.
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.
When mediation doesn’t work, a theoretical model can help us to understand how to continually improve what we do.
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.
In the absence of proper dialogue, people either communicate through gritted teeth, enlist the one-sided support of others, or begin to build a negative view of the other person’s intentions. In a private session, everyone can truly speak for themselves, with the aim of really clarifying one another’s thoughts, feelings, and motivations.
A lack of honest and open dialogue has an even more profound impact in a team or group. Factions can form, members can feel ostracised, and collaboration soon falls apart. With its 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.
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.Watch the webinar