Wandsworth Mediation Service is working with Neighbourhood Watch to help their volunteers understand how mediation between neighbours can resolve disputes quickly. Click here to read our article in the current National Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter (page 5). Here are some helpful tips:
1) Get in early! We cannot stress enough how important it is that we are involved as soon as possible when an issue arises between neighbours or family members. If people can meet early on to discuss the problems between them, mediation is much more likely to be successful. The longer that the conflict rumbles on, the harder it can be to get both parties to agree to mediation, and the harder it can be to unpick the issues between them.
People in conflict tend to demonise each other and assume that everything that the other is doing is designed to annoy or wind up them up. When they come together in a mediation, these barriers and assumptions fall away as people hear from each other about the impact that their behaviour has on the other, and the parties are more likely to reach an agreement that they can stick to going forward.
2) Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0207 223 7744. If you want to sound us out on a potential mediation, just pick up the phone. We are happy to chat through scenarios and discuss the best way forward without requiring any commitment or sending us a referral.
3) Try to remain neutral. If there is one thing we see in every case, it is there are always 2 sides to every story. When those involved feel that people have taken sides, they are likely to become more deeply entrenched in their own position.
4) Understand that mediation is voluntary. We know that just by referring a case, there is a slight element of pressure to attend. However, parties that have been referred must make their own decision to engage. When they do, the chances of having a positive conversation and possibly reaching some form of agreement increases hugely.
5) Be confident: mediation works. Our clients said that mediation or conflict coaching:
- Improved the situation – 100%
- Improved mental health and well-being – 83%
- They gained confidence about dealing with the situation and managing conflict in general – 83%
- They began to communicate differently – 72%
- They felt empowered as they chose how to resolve the issues, and this improved their confidence and self-esteem – 82%
- Brought about mutual respect, understanding, and helped break down judgement and bias – 70%
- Felt safer – 50% (The other 50% said it was not applicable to their circumstances).