On May 2, Peer Mediation Competition (final) was held. Our President Elect Eliza chaired the competition, while Past President WT acted as advisor and competition judge and President Sam acted as steering committee member.
What is mediation? In the second Club meeting of the year, we learned all about this emerging form of disputes resolution from our speaker, Mr TK Iu, a Solicitor and Accredited Mediator (General & Family). Mediators are trained to be impartial and help parties reach an amicable settlement. The mediator does not impose a decision on the parties. The mediator is neither judge nor arbitrator. Rather, each party are brought face-to-face in a private and confidential setting and has the opportunity to forward his/her point of view. The key drivers of mediation is, 人事分離, or, be hard on the problems and be soft on the people. While litigation and arbitration can be backward looking at facts and events that transpired, mediation builds on the factual foundation of the case and seeks solutions that help all parties meet their goals and objectives. The time and cost savings of mediation will become more evident as mediation gets adopted into mainstream disputes resolution. It is certainly an emerging field as Hong Kong positions itself as a mediation center.
Rotarian Eliza Ning of Rotary Satellite Club of Tolo Harbour Happy Health came to our Club to give a talk on “Peer Mediation”. A career banker, Eliza upon retirement has a new-found interest in mediation, particularly amongst our youth. She shared her experience taking classes on mediation, attending peer mediation competitions among secondary schools, and teaching mediation techniques to secondary schoolers. She is hopeful that conflicts, especially among our youth, can be resolved through peer mediation techniques, including active listening, reframing, uncovering underlying interests, doubt creation to firm beliefs etc. These techniques, when properly executed, help to promote an environment whereby others resolve conflict through mutual understanding.