Mediation is a process used for resolving all types of conflicts. Mediation makes it possible for the parties involved to take responsibility for working out a solution to their conflict. It can help prevent costly, time-consuming and troublesome court proceedings which all too frequently result in hardened fronts on both sides. Since ongoing litigation is paused during mediation, this path can offer a viable alternative to court cases, even at that stage of the proceedings. Any number of parties can be involved in the conflict and, depending on the case at hand, this varies between one individual and an organization's entire workforce in the event of conflicts within a company. Solutions arrived at through mediation are often more satisfying for everyone involved and frequently more workable than decisions reached by a third party.

The mediation process is both voluntary and confidential. The mediator offers the parties a process and means with which they can work through the conflict personally under his or her guidance and develop resolution models. The mediator does not adjudicate the conflict. When all is said and done, the resolution is worked out exclusively by the conflicting parties themselves. Mediation is not about winning a case; it is about finding a fair solution for the conflicting parties which takes all of their interests into consideration. Mediation, unlike legal proceedings, does not revolve around the question of guilt. Instead, key aspects of mediation include:

• engaging in a mutual discussion between all parties about the situation that led to the conflict,
• identifying and taking the various interests of the conflicting parties into account,
• revealing and resolving hidden conflicts,
• seizing the opportunity to use an unbureaucratic, flexible process,
• reducing costs that would otherwise be incurred through court proceedings and the conflict.

The outcome of mediation is documented in writing in a final agreement that is binding for all parties.

Dr. Klaus Krebs completed a mediation training program at the Konstanzer Schule für Mediation (School of Mediation). If you have any questions concerning the process or would like to know whether a specific conflict might be appropriate for the mediation process, please contact Dr. Krebs. Of course this offer is also open to employers or associations seeking to resolve a conflict within their organization through mediation even without being one of the conflicting parties, themselves.

After an initial discussion, mediation generally takes place during 60- to 90-minute sessions in a specially-equipped room at Hauptstrasse 333, 79576 Weil am Rhein. In special circumstances, such as conflicts within a company, mediation can also take place at the company's facilities or even at an external venue such as a rented hotel conference room. Remuneration is based on hourly rates, a flat daily fee or a multi-day fee whereby each of the conflicting parties generally pays half.