Necessary Elements for Mediation
In the best of all circumstances, negotiation and mediation can enable disputants to resolve disputes by finding consensus. At other times, only difficult compromises may make a negotiated settlement possible. In either case, a mediation process may offer a particularly attractive and productive alternative to destructively adversarial modes of decision-making. Mediation and negotiation, however, cannot resolve all disputes. In the worst cases, failure to successfully conclude a negotiation or mediation effort can actually complicate the conflict situation or lead to higher levels of destructive interaction. In addition, the disputants may blame the mediator for both the escalation of conflict and the failure of negotiations.
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