About Mediation

Mediation Conflict Resolution

Types of Conflicts That Can Be Mediated

Mediation is a versatile method of conflict resolution that can be applied to a wide range of conflicts. These include:

1. Personal Conflicts: These conflicts arise between individuals, such as interpersonal disputes, conflicts within families, neighbor disputes, or disagreements between friends.

2. Workplace Conflicts: This involves conflicts between employees, teams, or even different departments within an organization. These conflicts might include disputes over responsibilities, goals, or communication issues.

3. Community Conflicts: These conflicts arise within a community or society, such as disputes between neighbors, conflicts over shared resources, or disagreements leading to social issues.

4. Legal Conflicts: Mediation can be used to resolve legal disputes, including civil cases, family law matters, contract disagreements, or disputes between businesses.

5. International Conflicts: In some cases, mediation can be used to address conflicts between nations or to facilitate diplomatic negotiations.

6. Environmental Conflicts: Mediation can also be used to address conflicts related to environmental concerns, such as disputes over land use, resource allocation, or pollution.

It is important to note that mediation may not be suitable for all conflicts, particularly in cases where there is a significant power imbalance or where violence or abuse is involved. In such situations, alternative approaches may be more appropriate.


The Mediation Process: What to Expect

Mediation is an increasingly popular method of dispute resolution that offers parties the opportunity to collaboratively address their conflicts with the guidance of a neutral third party. Following is an overview of what you might expect in the mediation process.

1. Mediator’s role: A mediator is a neutral third party who helps facilitate communication and negotiation between the parties involved. They don’t make decisions but guide the process.

2. Confidentiality: Mediation is conducted in a confidential setting, ensuring that discussions and information shared during the process remain private.

3. Voluntary participation: Mediation is a voluntary process, and no one can be forced to agree or make any decisions they are uncomfortable with.

4. Open Communication: Open and honest communication is important to the mediation process. It is essential to listen actively – including listening to learn, express thoughts and concerns clearly, and be respectful toward each other.

5. Identifying issues: Mediation aims to identify and address the issues at hand, whether it’s a dispute, conflict, or negotiation of agreements. It is not about blame or who is right or wrong. The parties have an opportunity to express their needs, concerns, and desired outcomes.

6. Problem solving: Mediation focuses on finding collaborative solutions. The mediator assists in generating options and exploring creative alternatives that could satisfy everyone’s interests whenever possible.

7. Negotiation and compromise: Mediation often involves negotiation and a willingness to compromise to reach mutually agreeable solutions that may satisfy all parties’ interests

How to Become a Mediator in Tennessee

If you have a passion for helping people resolve conflicts and are interested in pursuing a career in alternative dispute resolution, becoming a mediator in Tennessee can be an interesting and fulfilling path. Mediators play a crucial role in facilitating conversations and fostering better outcomes by guiding parties through difficult discussions toward better outcomes. Before pursuing a career in mediation, it’s important to understand the essential responsibilities and skills of a mediator.

Mediators are neutral third parties who help disputing parties communicate effectively, explore options, and reach mutually acceptable solutions. They are skilled professionals who maintain impartiality and assist in resolving conflicts without taking sides.

To become a mediator, you must undergo specific training in dispute resolution. In Tennessee, the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission (ADRC) oversees the state’s Rule 31 mediation programs. They require aspiring mediators to complete either General Civil or Family training conducted by an ADRC approved trainer. In addition, there are several institutions and organizations throughout Tennessee that offer accredited mediation courses. You can explore local community colleges, universities, community mediation centers or private organizations that specialize in dispute resolution and mediation training. Be sure to choose a program that fulfills the state’s requirements and provides thorough instruction on mediation techniques, ethics, and legal framework. Also, gaining practical experience in the field can greatly enhance your mediation skills and increase your prospects for success. Seek opportunities to observe professional mediators in action, participate in mock mediations, or volunteer at local mediation centers to help you refine your skills. Upon successful completion of the Rule 31 training, you can submit an application to the ADRC to become a Rule 31 Listed Mediator. Consult the website by clicking here for detailed information.

Becoming a skilled mediator in Tennessee requires commitment, ongoing learning, and a genuine desire to assist others in reaching mutually beneficial solutions. TAPM is here to support you to becoming the best mediator you can be. Please let us know if you have questions.

How to Become a Rule 31 Listed Mediator

Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 establishes the qualifications an individual must possess in order to be “Listed” as a Rule 31 mediator. Additionally, Rule 31 sets forth the standards and procedures Rule 31 Listed Mediators must follow in order to, as the Rule states, “instill and promote public confidence in the alternative dispute resolution processes” in the State of Tennessee.

In addition to enhancing his/her professional standing as a mediator, an individual meeting Rule 31 qualification requirements have the opportunity to be listed in the roster of active Rule 31 Listed Mediators by the Administrative Office of the Court and receive referrals from eligible Tennessee courts.

In Tennessee, there are three designated listings for mediators: General Civil Mediator (§14(a)), Mediator in Family cases (§14(b)) and Family Mediator Specially Trained in Domestic Violence Issues (§14(g)). Individuals may apply for one or more of the listings subject to Rule requirements.

In addition to Rule 31, the Tennessee Supreme Court has also adopted an Alternative Dispute Resolution Plan. You can read the full text of Rule 31 and the ADR Plan by clicking here

* In addition, a frequently asked question is whether Rule 31 requires an applicant to be an attorney. It does not. There are many professionals other than those in the legal profession who are Rule 31 Listed Mediators.

* Rule 31, §1 is clear that the standards and procedures under Rule 31 apply only to Rule 31 mediations and Rule 31 mediators pursuant to this Rule. The standards and procedures do not affect or address the general practice of mediation or alternative dispute resolution in the private sector outside the ambient of Rule 31. As a result, individuals who are not Rule 31 Listed Mediators may establish a mediation practice. The laws and regulations pertaining to the establishment of such a business will vary from state to state and probably city to city. As regards to developing your skills, there are a number of online programs about mediation in different contexts, for example workplace, schools, healthcare settings. TAPM also has programs that will be of assistance to mediators establishing their own mediation practice apart from Rule 31.