Telephone Mediation: Making Conflict Resolution More Accessible

Posted on: July 22nd, 2019

We have spent a lot of time discussing the different forms in which mediation can take. Whether this be Skype mediation or resolution involving AI, the conclusion that most will come to is that it depends entirely on the case as to whether it should be considered.

One of the options we’ve explored is Telephone Mediation, which, as it stands, is the only other form of conflict resolution that UK Mediation offers.

Generally speaking, most neighbourhood, commercial, and financial disputes are easily resolved without the need for any outside intervention. When things break down, however, mediation might be considered as a quicker, cheaper, and less stressful resolution than going to court.

But, when not funded by large public or private sector organisations, the cost of a mediator’s fees may still be too much for two individuals taking part on their own behalf.

For this reason, many providers offer telephone mediation to lessen the costs further, mainly because the mediator won’t have to travel, get accommodation, or commit a full working day.

And, on top of this, it still carries many of the same benefits as standard mediation: providing an opportunity for better communication, understanding of each other’s concerns, and a format in which to come up with an amicable agreement.

What’s actually involved in the process?

But, of course, no matter how effective this type of mediation may be, there are some instances where it just would not be appropriate.

For example, cases where there are a lot more feelings, emotions, or underlying resentment, would generally require a more human touch. Ideally, these would be mediated face-to-face, where both participants can be in the same room and can see the “whites of each other’s eyes”, so to speak.

So, in what kinds of disputes would telephone mediation be suitable?

Particularly with neighbour disputes, where it is widely advised that parties attempt mediation before the small-claims court, we have found telephone mediation to be very successful at rebuilding dialogue and restoring some form of a relationship.

On top of this, it is also more time- and cost-effective than regular mediation, meaning that conflict resolution can be made available to even more people locked in dispute.

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