What Is A Successful Mediation?

successful mediation

What does a successful mediation look like?

Is it both parties coming to a mutually beneficial agreement, or is it something deeper? Is there more to it?

Here we will look at it from the perspective of the parties involved, the referrers and the mediators.

The main thing everyone wants to see is not just a resolution, but a sustainable resolution, and one that can significantly improve the situation for all.

So, let’s look deeper.

What is mediation?

Let’s first look at what mediation is and what it seeks to achieve.

In simple terms, it’s not the mediators role to suggest outcomes, it’s to guide the conversation and to facilitate a situation where the parties themselves can agree on a way forward.

The main benefits of mediation are:

  • It’s a people-centric approach to resolving complaints
  • It can resolve issues at an early stage
  • Diffuses complaints and prevents escalations
  • Provides an opportunity to hear and understand the complaint from the individual’s point of view
  • Gain valuable insight to improve your operations and prevent similar complaints
  • All parties have a say in the outcome, making it sustainable

The benefits of a successful agreement

In the majority of cases referrers (predominantly housing associations) want to see an agreement at the end of a mediation.

This is considered a good outcome as it gives all involved something to refer to in the future. Should the issue resurface again the referrer can use the detail to remind those involved what they agreed to do.

For an agreement to be successful the parties have to put it into practice. This can be difficult when they are used to behaving in a certain way towards each other. Animosity can resurface unless both parties are fully committed to the resolution.

A look at a recent case

During a recent team meeting we discussed what a successful mediation looks like. This came off the back of one of the team saying, “let me tell you about a case I’ve just completed that went really well.”

Here’s what happened…

It was a tricky mediation meeting between two neighbours, but as soon as they began to listen and understand each other their body language changed and the mood immediately lightened in the room.

The parties were looking at each other, not the mediators, and exchanged smiles.

One party said, “I am so sorry we have got to this point; it should never have happened.”

The other party said, “I don’t know why it did, but let’s start again.”

Our mediators reported that the relief and calmness could be felt in the room. You just can’t capture this in an agreement as words could not reflect how positive the feeling was.

By talking to each other the parties changed how they felt about each other and left the room as neighbours who wanted to ‘get along.’

An agreement was written, however one party said, “we don’t need that, what we have achieved in this room means so much more.”

The big takeaway

In some cases we can’t express the true success of a mediation as you just had to be in the room to witness it.

These are the cases that we walk away from thinking that we have really achieved something.

It’s why we do what we do.

Mediation can improve lives in a way that we cannot convey on paper.

And that’s what a successful mediation looks like.


If you want to find out more about our services please call us on 01772 954602 or email info@adrmediation.org.uk. You can also read more about how we can help you handle tenant complaints here.

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