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15 / 06 / 2004
Marinés Suares: “Mediation is not a panacea, rather an intervention that has a relative influence”

The Dialogue “Conflicts in Everyday Life” counted on the presence of experts in mediation, Marinés Suares and Susan Hackley, who have analyzed the role of the mediator in the resolution of conflicts

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Mediator and family therapist, Marinés Suares, explained that “mediation is not a panacea but rather an intervention that has a relative influence; it is only another element that enters within the system in relation to the parties.” For Suares, the mediator helps the parties meet again and reach agreements. In this sense, she pointed out that we need to remember that “conflicts are inevitable but are not indispensable, and, many are also painful; differences are good, however, and should be harmonized so as not to generate conflicts.” Suares believes that “co-mediation is necessary and enriching, given that it allows for two points of view, two visions that generate suitable spaces for a constant reflection on what is going on. The mediator’s thoughts can be helpful for people to find the answer,” Suares concluded.

The executive director of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard University, Susan Hackley, explained that the goals of this program are to “stimulate new forms of mediation, nurture a new generation of professors and scholarly mediators, provide a forum for the discussion of ideas and experiences, and connect the debate on negotiation with events in the real world.”

Hackley commented that the symptoms of failure of a negotiation “are the squandering of resources, disputes that go on for a long time, the loss or closing of business in corporative negotiations, in general, the deterioration of relationships.” The factors that can lead to the failure of negotiation and mediation are people who are not fit and do not reflect on the interests of the parties. For Hackley, mediation should help the parties to improve with the goal of understanding another party. In this sense, the parties should be flexible and capable of adapting to people who aren’t to their liking or with those who they disagree with, and, for this, they have to express their own interests. The mediator pointed out that “the myth of neutrality does not exist, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t start a conversation with the other party.”