Conflict tends to negatively impact communication skills. People yell. People get anxious. People avoid addressing the issue and the object of the conflict.
It is not unusual for those in conflict to feel that doing nothing is better than intervening. Nor is it uncommon to look for someone to deal with the conflict by proxy; fight for them. These reactions to conflict escalate the conflict prolonging the stress and discomfort. Meeting with a qualified neutral mediator is a positive alternative to dealing with a conflict.
Often the idea of mediation is dismissed as an option due to the arguing, hurt feelings, distrust, and other negative feelings that surround the conflict. The thought is a natural – but needless – one. How can mediation work when the smallest thing triggers conflict?
Despite the seeming impossibility, mediation is still a very viable option in the vast majority of cases including high conflict situations. The presence of a skilled neutral party can have a powerful positive affect. The mediator provides a buffer as well as keeping both parties focused on reaching agreement – facilitating communication and focusing on interests not the mess that surrounds the issue.