Invariants in mediation

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Referring to invariants of pedagogy identified by Celestin Freinet, Jean-Louis Lascoux proposes to identify invariants related to any intervention of mediation. The list is not exhaustive but presents what is a mediation action.

The general invariant of mediation is stated below: There is an invariant which justifies the mediation approach and authenticates the action of mediators: the confidence in the human good will, well meaning, the real search for improvement and development are present and perceptible in every individual.

There are four types of invariants:


[edit] Invariants on the Process

Mediation is a discipline focussed on the quality of the flow of information between people.

  • Mediation is confidential; the principle of confidentiality concerns both mediators and parties. Everything that is said and happened must remain within the privacy of mediation;
  • Mediation implies the definition and acceptance to communication rules that the mediator will frame and guarantee along the process;
  • Mediation requires a framework that is defined by operation rules (choice of the place, schedule, duration of the sessions, costs and their repartition);
  • Mediation is guided and respects the Code of Ethics and Deontology;
  • Mediation process should enable the parties to return into mediation before any further legal action in the context of a mediation ordered by a magistrate;
  • Mediation foresees that a legal adviser convinced of the mediation values is accessible in order not to sustain conflictual dynamics and to promote the recourse into mediation at any time that it appears favourable.

[edit] Invariants on the Individual

Everyone needs recognition.

  • The certainty of being right is one of the most prevalent things in individuals and requires to be recognized as legitimate;
  • Nobody likes to be constrained;
  • Nobody likes to be rejected or negated;
  • Everyone wants his acts to be understood in relation to the intentions centered on him, and not based according to their direct or indirect impact on others or background;
  • Everyone wants his values, beliefs, convictions and certainties to be respected;
  • The conflicts experienced by an individual are based on his knowledge and habits in matter of self-management;
  • Nobody has deliberate habits;
  • Abuse of a dominant position causes, immediately or a long time later conflictual behaviors;
  • The human awkwardness is common;
  • Feeling of being unique is common;
  • Everyone as a relational system with his facilities of communication and his dynamics of overbid (addition, withdrawal...);
  • Everyone lives gaps between intentions and actions;
  • Everyone lives gaps between perceptions of things and reality;
  • Everyone lives gaps between what they express, how they perceive themselves and how they are perceived by others;
  • Individuals in conflict are both in demand and defence.

[edit] Invariants on the Mediator

The mediator is foremost an individual as defined in the list of invariants on the individual. The mediator:

  • does not use his position of authority to constrain;
  • teaches respectfully;
  • accompanies and acts as a facilitator;
  • is independent, impartial and neutral;
  • guarantees the quality of reception;
  • guarantees co-defined operation and communication rules with the parties;
  • assists the parties to remain focused on themselves;
  • assists the parties to remain focused on the reason why they are in mediation;
  • uses techniques based on diversification of the language;
  • respects confidentiality and privacy in mediation;
  • reformulates positively statements of rejection;
  • has mastered the techniques of othercentrism, stress management, detachment and creativity;
  • follows the Code of Ethics and Deontology of Mediation;
  • possesses a professional insurance that ensures to the parties the guarantees related to his professional intervention;
  • never stops a mediation process; if the mediator considers that he is unable -for personal reasons of values, beliefs, conviction, legal interpretation- he must request the assistance of another professional mediator or entrust the mediation to one of his colleagues, as foreseen in the Professional Code.

[edit] Invariants on the Conflicts

Any conflict finds an outcome according to the mode of thinking that is applied:

  • any conflict generates a desire of revenge or vengeance;
  • any conflict shows the image of our alter-ego;
  • the conflictual image that is believed about the other sustains the conflict;
  • any conflict follows a logical dynamic of overbid;
  • do more than what we already do much;
  • do as much than what is usually done;
  • do less than what we do already few;
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