When things become too difficult to handle, mediation is there to help. The member organizations of Community Mediation Minnesota are your local, trusted experts in providing confidential, action-oriented solutions to disagreements of all sizes, types, and significance. Familiarize yourself with the process and potential of mediation using the information below. Take our survey to determine if mediation is right for you, and contact us with any questions. We are AVAILABLE STATEWIDE to serve you and resolve your disputes.
The Mediation Process in Minnesota
Mediation is a confidential discussion that relies on a proven process of identifying issues, finding solutions, and agreeing on a shared path forward. Regardless of whether a person is participating in-person or via CMM’s newly available online platform, the mediation process will typically include the following basic steps: (1) introductions; (2) perspective sharing; (3) issue and interest identification; (4) solution brainstorming; and, when appropriate, (5) agreement drafting.
While a detailed description of each step is included below, the unique model of your chosen or assigned CMM partner will be reviewed during your personalized mediation intake process. To ensure your comfort and confidence, you are encouraged to ask questions at any time during the intake and mediation processes.
Why Explore Mediation?
You can expect a variety of benefits from participating in mediation. Many of these are exclusive to or otherwise difficult to achieve outside of the mediation experience. Notable benefits include:
Affordable. As a nonprofit collaborative, mediation fees are affordable and are based on your specific needs and abilities. In some cases, this may even result in mediation services available at no cost to you or all involved.
Confidential. You are not interested in airing dirty laundry. Neither are we. The discussions and decisions made in mediation are as private as you prefer. And if any disclosures are required, the mediator will thoroughly explain these requirements and tailor your experience accordingly.
Convenient. We schedule your mediation at a time and location convenient to you. Mediations occur at a local office or online based on your location. In some instances, mediations can be scheduled within a week or two of your initial contact.
Empowering. Your experience, your interests, your solutions, and your voice are at the heart of your mediation. Throughout the process, mediators work to ensure your story is shared for the benefit of all in attendance.
Fast. Many mediations begin and end with only a single meeting. While this may vary based on your specific needs, mediation is almost always a far more expedient process than relying on courts.
Flexible. Beginning with your first contact, we work to craft an experience responsive to your unique needs. During your mediation, you drive the process and decide its outcomes. We discuss your issues as thoroughly as you need and document only that to which you agree.
Informal. At its heart, mediation is simply a conversation. You bring to the table what what you want, and leave with what you need. No fuss, no unnecessary formalities. Your mediators provide a productive structure and help you explore possibilities, but the movement and mood are yours to define.
Holistic. In mediation, competing lists of demands are just the start. Mediators are trained to dig deeper and to unearth the compelling interests motivating those demands. They encourage you and others to craft outcomes that address your claims and their catalysts.
Preventative. In sharing your perspective and hearing others’, participants develop a deeper appreciation for the causes and consequences of their and others’ behaviors. Through this understanding, participants are better equipped to prevent further disputes. More importantly, participants can identify specific actions designed to minimize the occurrence and intensity of future disputes.
Sustainable. Mediated agreements reflect participants’ earnest commitments and regularly result in reliable follow through. Still, should you require a follow-up session to adjust the agreement, discuss additional issues, or reaffirm one another’s commitment, we will gladly reconvene as quickly and conveniently as possible.
Voluntary. Mediation is yours to try for the disputes of your choosing. Except in select court-referred cases, you are able to choose whether and when to engage a mediator. You can come anytime you like, and leave just the same. Your presence throughout reflects a desire for agreement, not the demands of another.
Community Mediation Minnesota now has the ability to connect Minnesotans with skilled mediators from the comfort of their own home! Using online services, CMM partner organizations can schedule and initiate a mediation with participants in different locations. To explore this option, please contact us to determine eligibility.
Mediation is available for a broad range of disputes. If your disagreement is across a counter or cubicle, between friend or family, conjures frustration or fury, or demands transactional or transformative change, mediation can help. Below is a list of some common areas our expert mediators frequently address.
Community. Our community begins next door and extends increasingly outward. With each new connection, the possibility for conflict, for disagreement, and for tension increases. As this happens, skilled community mediators are there to help. Frequent community conflicts may involve a neighbor’s animals, fences, noise, or parking.
Consumer. In truth, the customer may not always be right. Neither will be the business, for that matter. When consumer and business interests collide, trained mediators are there to help. If the dispute involves a contract, charge, deposit, return, or review, mediators help grease the wheels of commerce with impartial, guided conversations.
Court. “I’ll see you in court!” Actually, we might see you there, too…or at least shortly thereafter. Local courts are increasingly referring select cases to CMM partners in an attempt to provide faster, more customized solutions than courts are capable of providing. We currently help courts resolve many small claims and family-oriented cases.
Family. From sibling rivalries to separation, shared parenting to elder care, specially trained family mediators are available to help your family plot a course through conflict and change. Our mediators engage with heart and a deep appreciation for the uniqueness of each family and its dynamics.
Housing. Home is where your heart is. When that home is threatened, so too is your heart. These threats lead to intense, rapidly escalating conflicts in which our skilled mediators are uniquely trained to intervene. We assist with eviction protection, housing stability, and landlord-tenant issues that challenge heart and home.
School. CMM partners provide a growing catalogue of youth-oriented mentoring and conflict resolution education, services, and training to Minnesota schools. They work to end bullying, squash hallway grudges, equip students with constructive skills, and provide role models that inspire students to further extend their unfolding potential.
Workplace. Cubicle clashes, water cooler rumors, discrimination, bullying, mobbing, terminations. Today’s workplaces are a minefield of triggers and trouble. Thankfully, workplace mediators throughout the state are ready to open both doors and minds. We ease the labor of collaboration and productively realign workplace relationships.
Faith & Family. An unmarried couple had a two-year-old son. Their relationship had been very short and they communicated only through friends. The father wanted his son be raised in his faith. The mother was remarrying and expecting another child. The mediators focused mom and dad on what was best for their son and not on their past relationship. Both parents were pleased with their success, the agreement, and the mediation process.
Fence Frustrations. Two neighbors were referred to mediation by police. Each had spent hours of time engaging the city, police, lawyers and their families in the dispute over a fence. Neither could see any other solution than to go to court and let a judge decide. Although initially reluctant to try mediation, they both agreed. The session became emotional as the underlying reason for the dispute was discussed – an issue that had little to do with a fence. Instead, each had interpreted a minor incident differently. Both had felt disrespected at the time and apologized. An agreement was made to leave the property issue alone and work on building a more positive neighborhood climate.
“We didn’t have to spend the whole day waiting to be heard in court. We came to a solution and were home before noon!”
“I am very pleased with the way the mediation was handled. I will definitely contact you again if any problems arise in the apartment complex.”
“Our family hadn’t gotten anywhere trying to decide ourselves where to place dad until mediation. Thank you.”
“Mediation should be offered earlier before the dispute blows up into a big problem.”