Concepts of Advocacy and Mediation, Essay Example

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Essay

The various types of conflict resolution

Conflict resolution employs non-legally binding methods, informal or even structured legal procedures. All these approaches apply to conflicts in the workplace as well as international conflict resolution. Most common conflict resolution forms include mediation, arbitration, negotiation and mediation-arbitration (Greenstone et al. 1994). These forms all have the aim of solving conflicts taking into consideration the interests of all parties involved and help avoid the court. Negotiation involves the two parties involved in a conflict agree to solve their issues through open discussions. This process is informal and consists of a meeting between members involved in the conflict and those from senior management. Mediation involves the presence of a third neutral party to facilitate talks to bring the two conflicted parties into agreement. This applies mostly when the two parties can no longer solve their issues using negotiations. The mediator has no legal power to make a final decision in this case. Arbitration is a conflict resolution approach like mediation, but the intermediary in this case facilitates discussions and has a legal power to make a decision (Bush, 2012). The parties have to go by the decision of the arbitrator.

Conflict of interest

This refers to a situation with potential of undermining a person’s impartiality because of a possible clash between the self-interest of the person and professional or public interest. Conflict of interest arises when the professional or personal interests are at odds compared to the nonprofit interests.

Neutrality

This is a position or state of impartiality towards either party involved in a conflict. This is where an individual state or agency plays a non-partisan role in a conflict to help in calming down the situation rather than aggravating it.

Confidentiality

This refers to the act of maintaining secrecy or strict privacy. In conflict resolution, parties involved in mediation may have secrets of the parties and they should refrain from spilling these in the public. In the field of informal conflict resolution and management, confidentiality is a standard of practice.

BATNA

This means ‘Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement’. It is an alternative plan applicable in cases where talks get out of control. The factors of importance in BATNA include cost, feasibility, impact and consequences. Determination of BATNA takes into account the negotiator’s interests and his or her position.

Win-win

Other terms used for this approach are problem solving or problem confronting (Bush, 2012). Win-win involves attempting to work with the other individual in order to obtain a win-win solution to a conflict. In this case, the solution aims to satisfy concerns of both parties in the conflict. For instance, win-win may be necessary when commitment and consensus of other parties is crucial or when one does not want to have full responsibility.

Advocacy

This refers to the act of supporting, pleading for or recommending. The advocate speaks, on behalf of a party, to give support and make pleas on behalf of the party to make an agreement with the rival party in solving conflicts. Thus during mediations, lawyers use advocacy to rethink the legal skills applicable in conflicts.

Positions and interests

Positions refer to the things we decide while interests refer to the reasons responsible for the decisions we make. Mediators should try to identify the interests of parties rather than focusing on the positions of the parties. This is because interests help in starting a discussion between the parties and positions tend to end the discussion.

Client transformation

This approach does not seek to resolve the problem immediately to foster empowerment and mutual recognition of parties involved in the conflict (Greenstone et al. 1994). Empowering means making the parties able to define their own issues and find solutions for the problems on their own. Recognition refers to enabling a party to see and understand the point of view of the other party- understand why they are seeking a solution and the way they define the problem.

Ethical practices in mediation and advocacy

Ethical practice refers to honoring values, morals, and beliefs of mediation and advocacy and helps others through unbiased decision-making process. Regulations and rules of an agency set the practices of ethics for the mediator (Bush, 2012). For example, a mediator should not be the final decision maker.

References

Bush, R. (2012). Mediation and Social Justice: Risks and Opportunities. Ohio State Journal On Dispute Resolution, 271.

Greenstone, J. L., Leviton, S. C., & Fowler, C. M. (1994). Mediation Advocacy: A New Concept in the Dispute Mediation Arena. Mediation Quarterly, 11(3), 293-299.

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