Our relational model

Introducing our relational model of mediation…

Here at EU Mediation, we treat conflict as a failure of dialogue and as a breakdown in an interpersonal relationship: whether that is a relationship in a workplace, within a family, or anywhere where communication needs to be restored.

Our relational model, re:talk, has arisen from Dr Mike Talbot's pioneering work, his own doctoral studies, and lessons learned from conducting thousands of mediation cases.

Why is a relational model important?

Defines how and why

There are well-established practices in mediation, but few people can say why or how they work. “What does the mediator add?"

Explains and predicts

It helps to both explain and predict what happens in mediation, and gives a far better understanding of where conflict comes from.

Highlights dialogue

Not all mediation cases have to reach an ‘agreement’: dialogue-building is an end in itself and allows clearer insight into why mediation usually works.

Helps us to improve

When mediation doesn’t work, a theoretical model can help us to understand how to continually improve what we do.

Restores dialogue

People either ignore one another, launch formal processes against one another, or have full-on hostile confrontations. By recognising where conflict comes from, re:talk gives us a way to bring about dialogue again: getting people to feel safe about having a conversation, speaking directly and frankly, and minimising any future hostility.

Repairs relationships

In the absence of proper dialogue, people either communicate through gritted teeth, enlist the one-sided support of others, or begin to build a negative view of the other person’s intentions. In a private session, everyone can truly speak for themselves, with the aim of really clarifying one another’s thoughts, feelings, and motivations.

Rebuilds teams

A lack of honest and open dialogue has an even more profound impact in a team or group. Factions can form, members can feel ostracised, and collaboration soon falls apart. With its understanding of how these processes work and an impartial mediator treating everyone the same, re:talk ensures that everyone starts to pull in the same direction.