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Ownership of the Resolution Process

Ownership of the Resolution Process

Author: Julie Tietz

At the end of this tutorial, the learner will understand that much of the effectiveness of a conflict resolution process depends on the parties' feeling ownership and joint control of the process, and will be able to use techniques to build this feeling.

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Ownership of the Resolution Process

Source: Image of Meeting, Public Domain,

Video Transcription

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Hi, I'm Julie Tietz. And welcome to Conflict Resolution-- putting the pieces together. Today, we're going to talk about how we can effectively have the parties really take ownership within a conflict resolution process.

So the first step in establishing or helping the parties establish ownership of their conflict resolution process, the mediator's role is really important at this stage in establishing ownership for the parties. The mediator's role is to help the parties work together to solve or come up with solutions or ideas on how we can work through this conflict.

This can be really hard at first. Because as you can imagine, when you're in conflict with someone, it can be really hard to think that at first you are going to work together when you may be so polarized to begin with before you enter into such a process.

Also, the mediator's role is to explain the process and to let the parties know what's going to happen throughout this. And the more and more they hear about it, the more and more hopefully they will feel like they have a real sense of stakes of an outcome in this process.

And also, as a mediator, we need to establish our impartiality. We need to let them know that we don't have any stake in the outcome here. It's really about you, the parties, and what you want to accomplish.

And let the parties know that they make all the decisions within this process. And the mediator is there to guide them and to facilitate communication, not to make any decisions for them. So anything that comes out of it is what they want to have happen. And that's the first initial step in helping the parties establish ownership.

And I'm just going to read off how I may start off talking to the parties within a mediation to help them establish some ownership. I would say something like this. Hi, I'm Julie. I really thank you for being here and willing to try mediation. And I just want to give you some information about the process and our roles. I'm here to work with you to find a resolution.

And I really want to meet everybody's needs here. And to facilitate that, we're going to go through exploring some options that you generate and you come up with together. And anything that comes out of this process such as an agreement will be in words that are your own and that you feel comfortable with.

And I want you to know that no decision is going to be made without you and your input. And all the information that we are sharing together is confidential and we aren't going to share with the public. And I want to let you know that we're-- as this process goes along, you really are working as a team here to come up with a solution that works for both of you.

And so if this is something that you feel comfortable with and that you want to explore more, I am happy to take you through this mediation or conflict resolution process. So that would be something that you could start off with as a conflict intervener to establish the parties' ownership within this process.

Another way we can establish ownership is through a process check. And in a process check, we are checking in with the parties to make sure that things are going OK and let them have the opportunity to really express any of their concerns that they may be having.

And that will make them more comfortable with the process and to feel like they are really a part of it and that it's up to them to make it work and to really see this as a joint problem-solving exercise with the other party.

So now that we have gone over owning the process with the parties in conflict resolution, let's go over some of our key points. So when we are helping the parties to own the process, we are encouraging them to work together. And we are also as mediators or conflict interveners explaining the process before it begins so the parties are aware of what's going to happen and if they're really comfortable with proceeding in such a process.

We're also making frequent process checks throughout the mediation or the conflict resolution process. We want to do this so the parties feel more comfortable, so they can express some concerns, and to really feel like they are in control and are crafting and owning the process.

So that's all we have for you today. I'm going to leave you with our key terms-- ownership and process check. I really hope that you've learned something. And I can't wait to catch you again next time.

Terms to Know

In conflict resolution processes: a sense that parties have substantial control over their participation and design or implementation of a process and any potential solutions.

Process Check

A technique used by mediators to be certain that parties are comfortable with and feel well-served by the mediation process; asking parties for feelings about, input on, and suggestions to address their comfort level with a mediation process.