Updated: Feb 23
Written by - Mrs. Adebodun Doyle
The ODR training process introduced me to online mediation with the zoom app in 2018. It became a household name with the advent of the coronavirus in 2019. Other apps like the MODRON and the CREK also existed though the ZOOM became more popular than these two. Online video conferences go beyond the TV stations.
Of all the ODR Apps, mediating with the telephone, I thought was unsophisticated and absurd. Assessing confidentiality seems an uphill task since the applicants and their environments will not be visible to the mediator. Surprisingly though crude and may not guaranty this, mediating on the telephone has its benefits. The mediator can not only evaluate the parties’ strengths and weaknesses against each other she/he can clarify issues. It can be a backup should technology disappoint.
Parties communicating on the telephone has its benefits. The reserved ones are more outspoken and speak more freely than when in front of other parties in the mediation. They are ready to reveal all, withholding nothing. The information divulged makes communication easier to facilitate achieving a faster resolution.
Besides the freedom to speak his/her mind, there is less anger between the parties resulting in faster resolutions.
Some opined that because agreements reached on the telephone are not usually written and signed by all parties involved, it is not binding and easy to violate or breach the contract. On the contrary, at the end of the telephone conference, the agreement reached is acknowledged and documented. Each party adheres to the contract, observing all protocols and ethics of mediation.