Negotiating Your Own Solution

Silke Hansen

Senior Conciliation Specialist, Community Relations Service

Interviewed by Julian Portilla, 2003

This rough transcript provides a text alternative to audio. We apologize for occasional errors and unintelligible sections (which are marked with ???).

Mediation is so much more than coming up with a good agreement. In a case like that, let's say you had a brilliant judge heard the case and came up with the same agreement. The outcome would have been totally different and probably would not have been accepted by either side, or certainly either side would have been quite unhappy with it. The key part of the agreement is the process that the parties went through to reach the agreement. The process totally changes the relationship and the dynamics between the parties. That's such a key part. It doesn't mean that they will never have conflicts again, but the dynamics of how to deal with those conflicts has changed somewhat and that's wonderful.