Mediation in Communities

December 3rd, 2011 Posted in Mediation

Just what is mediation in Tennessee? Mediation, as defined by the Tennessee Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission “A voluntary settlement process to help you resolve disputes. Mediation is an informal process where a mediator helps people with a dispute to reach agreement. The mediation process identifies important issues, clarifies misunderstandings, explores solutions, and negotiates settlement.”

Mediation can be used at any time during, before and after litigation has occurred, although the majority of mediations occur prior to litigation. Mediation allows the parties to come to an agreement in their dispute rather than taking it to a third party, such as a judge.

You probably mediate every day and don’t realize it. You mediate when a co-worker comes to you with a gripe about another co-worker and you play devil’s advocate or help them see the other side, or when your spouse and child can’t agree on where to go out for dinner.

Mediation is about helping people come to a resolution. Consider it bridge building. Mediation can be used to settle a dispute between members in a home owner association, between a hospital and a patient, a company and an employee, or many other situations.

Community Mediation Centers are a great community resource for both the communities in which they serve and the people who volunteer their time for the organization and are one way that mediation is used in Tennessee. These centers offer low-cost or sometimes a no-cost mediation solution/service. Community Mediation Centers are typically non-profits where professional or community trained people offer their time to the organization to mediate disputes.

In addition to the mediation services to parties seeking resolution, these centers often also offer the community educational opportunities.

These opportunities can come in the shape of lunch in learns or mediation training to train community volunteers to become mediators.

If you are looking for a worthy cause to donate your to time, I’d suggest taking a look at your Community Mediation Center.

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