Editor's Note: As we start the count down to the next full Oregon Legislative Session (2019) one of the biggest issues our industry faces is how to resolve conflict between residents and landlords. Mediation is one of the answers and one that MHCO strongly encourages ALL owners and managers of manufactured home communities to pursue. Today MHCO is introducing a new ad promoting mediation along with a long term commitment to providing quality articles and information on mediation. The ad provides a click thru to important information such as how to access mediation. Mediation is FREE and should be one of the first tools you turn to when conflict arises in your community - whether it is between resident and resident or resident and landlord.
Mediation: Tips for Effective Communication
1. Talk Directly. Assuming that there is no threat of physical violence, talk directly to the person with whom you have the conflict. Direct conversation is more effective than sending a letter, banging on the wall, or complaining to others.
2. Choose a good time. Plan to talk to the other person at the right time and allow yourselves enough tie for a thorough discussion of the issue. Don’t start talking about the conflict just as the other person is leaving for an appointment, after you’ve had a terrible day, or right before you make dinner. Try to talk in a quiet place where you can both be comfortable and undistributed for as long as the discussion lasts.
3. Plan ahead. Think out what you want to say ahead of time. State clearly what the problem is and how it affects you.
4. Don’t blame or name call. Don’t blame the other person for everything or begin the conversation with your opinion of what should be done. Use responsible language (I statements such as “I feel”, “I notice” vs. “you made me feel”).
5. Give information. Don’t interpret the other person’s behavior or viewpoint: “You are blocking my driveway on purpose just to make me mad.” Instead, give information about your own feelings: “When your car blocks my driveway, I get angry because I can’t get to work on time.”
6. Listen. Give the other person a chance to tell his or her side of the conflict completely. Relax and listen. Try to lean how the other person feels.
7. Show that you are listening. Although you may not agree with what is being said, tell the other person that you hear him or her and are lad that you are discussing the issue together.
8. Talk it all through. Once you start, get all of the issues and feelings out in to the open. Don’t leave out the part that seems too “difficult to discuss” or too “insignificant” to be important. Your solution will work best if all issues are discussed thoroughly.
9. Work on a solution. Two or more people cooperating are much more effective than one person telling another to change. Be specific with your solutions “I will turn my music off at midnight” is better than a vague, “I won’t play loud music again.”
10. Follow through. Agree to check with each other at specific times to make sure that the agreement is still working.
Mediation is a cooperative problem-solving process where people can meet in a safe and neutral setting to resolve their differences. Trained mediators assist and manage the process while remaining neutral. Their role is to empower participants to reach a conclusion that is agreeable to all. In doing so, mediators model active listening, allow each person to talk about the problem from his or her own perspective, translate and restate what is said, and act as a catalyst for balanced negotiations.
The mediation process helps people reach agreements that work and endure. Mediated agreements tend to be more satisfying, have higher compliance, and preserve important relationships better than traditional adversarial models.
- Flexible – Sessions may be scheduled during the day or evenings to meet parties’ needs.
- Confidential and Informal – Sessions take place in a neutral, private and safe setting.
- Empowering – Mediation is voluntary and Parties are in control of the outcome.
- Quick Help – Mediations are generally held within 30 days.
MHCO would like to thank Mediation Works for allowing the reproduction and use of this article.
A Community Dispute Resolution Center
Helping Southern Oregon resolve conflicts since 1990
33 North Central Suite 219
Medford, OR 97501