What makes a good mediator

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How do I recognize a good mediator?

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Time is cash, time is money. When consumers go to a mediator, in most cases they want their conflict to be settled more quickly, cheaply, and sometimes more nerve-friendly. According to the Federal Mediation Association, around 75-80 percent of out-of-court mediation proceedings in Germany lead to a successful settlement.

However, caution should be exercised when choosing the mediator. Mediation is a matter of trust, so it is in your interest to prevent the conflict from escalating in advance by selecting an unsuitable mediator.

But how do you recognize a good mediator? What should you watch out for?

First of all, a serious mediator should have certain basic virtues.

Basic virtues of the mediator - mediator and diplomatic communicator

First of all: A good mediator must be able to mediate between those involved on a neutral basis. He should have communication skills, diplomacy, a solid education and demonstrable practical experience. This can be determined after a short time, usually at the first meeting, by asking questions in a simple way.

Competence through standardized qualification

The new Mediation Act, which is expected to come into force soon, and an ordinance based on it, will regulate further details. According to the current state of knowledge, a minimum of 120 hours of training at a certified institute is intended for awarding the "certified mediator" as a benchmark quality criterion.

Control is good, but trust is better

If you visit a mediator, he should be able to gain the trust of those involved and to intervene between the parties on this basis. The mediator must be able to make it clear to the parties that he regards mediation as a purely interest-oriented procedure and he should be able to give the negotiation a structured framework.

To do this, he must make it clear to the parties: It is not about winning or losing, because the declared aim of mediation is to create a win-win situation between the parties involved. The mediator must also leave no room for doubt as to his independence, for example through ironic or irrelevant allusions.

Knockout criteria: Neither nudging nor shoving

If you feel, as a victim, being pushed or harassed, you can assume that you have not come across a reputable mediator, because the voluntary nature of the procedure is another indispensable premise for successful mediation. Therefore, as a person involved in the conflict, in every situation of the proceedings you must have the feeling that you can end the mediation at any time without remorse.

Clarification and confidentiality - both a must

As a person involved in the conflict, you can also recognize a reputable mediator by the fact that at the beginning of the procedure he or she makes sure that the parties have actually understood the meaning of mediation and the purpose of the meeting. Frequent questions of understanding should also be met patiently and objectively. In addition, he should inform you comprehensively at all times about the scope and scope of his duty of confidentiality.

Conclusion: Only a mediator that is accepted by all parties and demonstrably competent can successfully lead the parties to an agreement that is equally profitable for both. Therefore, you should consider the above criteria when choosing your personal mediator.

Therefore, a possible key question for me as a consumer to check the trustworthiness of the mediator can be: "Would I want to buy a used car from this person?"

If you can confidently affirm this on the basis of the above criteria, the mediator has already been able to record a few plus points on your trust account.

More helpful links for choosing good mediators can be found here.

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