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 cost of mediation is shared equally by the persons involved unless they agree otherwise. You should know in advance what the mediator charges and when payment is expected. Nonprofit community mediation centers, located across Tennessee, offer free or sliding-scale mediation to qualifying participants.

The time required for mediation varies. It depends on the complexity of the issues and the concerns of the people involved. It may be necessary to meet with the mediator more than once.

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.

8. Exploration of alternatives: Often people come to mediation with two choices – this or that. Mediation explores alternatives and different perspectives to expand the range of possible solutions.

9. Self-determination: Mediation empowers the parties involved to make their own decisions. The mediator encourages each party to take an active role in finding solutions rather than imposing decisions on them.

10. Outcome: The outcome of mediation varies depending on the situation. It can result in a complete resolution, partial agreement, or a better understanding of each other’s positions, even if a final agreement isn’t reached. The mediator will help parties write up their agreement or a summary at the end of mediation.

This is a general overview, and the specifics of each mediation process may vary depending on the situation and the mediator involved.

The mediator is not a judge and does not make a decision or impose a solution on the dispute. Rather, the mediator helps those involved in the dispute talk to each other, thereby allowing them to resolve the dispute themselves. The mediator manages the mediation session and remains impartial.

Search the online TAPM Directory of mediators, or search the mediation resources webpage of the TN Administrative Office of the Courts.  To find out more about mediation, ask your attorney, the court clerk, your local bar association, or call the Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission at 615-741-2687

Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 establishes the qualifications an individual must possess in order to be “Listed” as a Rule 31 mediator. Learn more here.

To become a mediator in Tennessee, you must undergo specific training in dispute resolution. 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. 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 for detailed information. –