How Argument Can Help Facilitate Mediation

Arguing to prove a point, is entrenched in our culture. Demonstrating, through argument, that “we are right!” seems to be infused in the way individuals react to controversy. While the connotation of the term “argument” is for the most part negative, the act of arguing does not have to be. Arguments, if used correctly, can facilitate a ground for which ideas can flourish. These grounds prove ideal for the mediation room.

First, let us begin by examining the three forms of argument.

#1) The Battle Argument: This is the typical, negatively associated type of argument most people think of when referring to this term. This type of argument only provides room for a winner and a loser, no learning. It shuts down any capability of the arguing participants to learn from one another through asking questions that can be respectfully answered.

#2) Proofs Argument: This type of argument does facilitate learning through the use of asking questions such as: does it work? Is it good? Is the conclusion logical and is it in line with the given circumstances? etc. Utilizing the proofs argument offers individuals a logical and understandable route to solving problems.

#3) The Socratic Argument: This Socratic argument is meant to encourage participation among the members of the Argument. Platforms are meant to be built and defended or re-thought-out, through discussion and inquires. This participation also yields a greater amount of understanding between the individuals involved.

As we can see, the first model of argument creates a great deal of distance between the participants by creating a loser and a winner. This conclusion would leave one party feeling negatively about the other while also feeling shorted. For this reason it is best not to use such a model of argument during the mediation process. Forms 2 and 3 of argument ,however, provide a mediator and his or her clients with helpful tips and tools to use when facilitating discussions between the participating parties. Asking questions is always crucial during the mediation process. By asking questions, individuals facilitate thinking which often leads to understanding and potentially a solution. For this reason, argument is not all bad. Done right, argument is the facilitator of great ideas and satisfactory solutions.


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Rausch Mediation & Arbitration Services
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