A critical step in the mediation process is to explore options and find solutions to the conflict or dispute. The possible solutions depend on how the mediator and the participants approach this step of the process. Further, I have noticed that there are parallels between the solution seeking approaches in mediation and certain economic theories.
In my experience the participants will often approach a mediation session looking out for their own best interest and with the belief that the best solution occurs when each individual does what is good for themselves only. In other words, they are actually not considering what it is that the other party may need. This approach is similar to an economic theory provided by Adam Smith that states “the best result comes when everyone is the group does what is good for themselves”.
I think that the solutions achieved in mediation are better if the participants approach the mediation with the belief that the best solution occurs when each individual does what is good for themselves and the others involved. This approach is similar to an economic theory provided by John Nash that states “the best result comes when everyone in the group does what is good for themselves and the group”.
In my opinion, we could reach better solutions in mediation if each participant considers the needs of others and themselves and that the overall result will be solutions for the benefit of all involved. .
So the next time you are faced with a decision or a conflict you may want to consider how best to meet your own needs and the needs of the others involved!
All the best, Gillian