Mediation@MIT 2nd Level

Our Services

What are our Services?

Conflict Coaching

Conflict coaching is a confidential* resource for students who are experiencing conflict and are interested in resolving the conflict on their own, or the other side is not interested in participating in a more formal process (e.g., mediation). The purpose of coaching is to give skills and resources that will equip the student to deal with the issue more productively and with increased perspective and self-reflection.

How does it work?

Conflict coaching sessions are one-on-one with a coach and coachee. They can be one session or multiple, depending on the nature of the situation and complexity of the issue(s). During a conflict coaching session, the coach will ask questions of the student that will encourage him/her to think about the cause(s) of the conflict and brainstorm potential options for resolution. Additionally, the conflict coach will share resources with the student including tips for approaching and managing the conflict.

Facilitation

Facilitation one or more sessions with a neutral third party who can help your group accomplish its objectives.

A skilled facilitator can get a group off to a constructive start and/or get a group back on track. No group project is too small or too big.

We can provide a skilled facilitator for your group or team. We can also provide facilitation training for your group.

Mediation

Mediation is a time-tested process to help people in conflict talk constructively about the conflict, identify the issues they want to address, and come up with options.

Mediation is a completely voluntary and confidential* process that helps two or more people in conflict communicate about the situation, clarify their issues and goals, and try to reach a constructive resolution.

Mediators are members of the MIT community trained as neutral facilitators to help the parties in a conflict to work together on the issues that are important to them.

Mediators do not make decisions about who is right or wrong or how things should be resolved--all decisions are made by the parties. It's a process to help parties come to a mutual decision to resolve their differences or to part ways amicably.

How does it work?

  1. One of the parties contacts Conflict Resolution@MIT (phone: 617-253-3276; email: conflictresolution@mit.edu) to request mediation or get more information.
  2. A staff member will discuss the situation and explore whether mediation is appropriate.
  3. If the requesting party wishes to go forward, either that person can contact the other party/parties, or the Conflict Resolution@MIT staff member will get in touch with the other party/parties to see if he/she/they is willing to participate in mediation. In order to proceed everyone must participate voluntarily.
  4. Conflict Resolution@MIT staff select a pair of mediators and schedules the mediation session at a time convenient for all, usually within a few days of the first contact.
  5. At the start of the mediation session all parties sign a written agreement to participate in mediation. A copy of the agreement to participate can be found here.
  6. Each person will get an opportunity to talk about what is happening. Everyone will get a chance to ask questions, clarify issues and help everyone understand the issues. The Mediators will help identify the issues and assist in option generating. Mediators may sometimes meet privately with each party to further explore the issues.
  7. A typical mediation lasts 2 hours. Either party can withdraw from the mediation at any point. If needed, additional sessions can be scheduled by mutual agreement.
  8. If the parties reach points of agreement, the mediators help them record those points. A final agreement, if reached, can be written or verbal. MIT does not keep a copy of the final agreement or enforce the agreement, and there are no punishments or disciplinary consequences associated with non-compliance--not even any official record of the dispute. Mediated agreements tend to hold up well, however, because both parties have contributed to them, and no one needs to sign any agreement he or she does not feel comfortable with.

Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice is an option for certain conflicts and cases of violations of Institute policies, where the person who caused harm to another person or community is interested in "making right" their actions.

Restorative Justice is a completely voluntary and confidential* process that is centered on restoration of the harm that was caused. Restorative Justice facilitators are members of the MIT community trained as neutral facilitators to help those involved in the process determine how the harm(s) can be restored and what the person who caused the harm must do in order for them to "make right."

How does it work?

  1. One of the parties contacts Conflict Resolution@MIT (phone: 617-253-3276; email: conflictresolution@mit.edu) to request a restorative justice circle or get more information.
  2. A staff member will discuss the situation and explore whether restorative justice is appropriate.
  3. Staff members will reach out to affected parties -- the person who caused harm, the harmed parties, and representatives of the community -- to determine if all parties wish to go forward with a restorative justice process and discuss the process with them.  In order to proceed everyone must participate voluntarily; in particular, attention is paid to protecting the harmed parties and making sure that the person who caused harm is interested in "making right."
  4. Conflict Resolution@MIT staff select a pair of facilitators and schedules the circle at a time convenient for all, usually soon after the first contact.
  5. During the restorative justice process, each person will get an opportunity to talk about what happened and what can be done to "make right." At the close of the session, a plan will be put in place to follow through with the results of the circle. 
  6. If the situation is simultaneously a part of a more formal judicial proceeding, the plan must abide by the sanctioning requirements of that process as well. The final plan will be approved by the Chair of the Committee on Discipline, and will be enforced by the Institute.

 

*Confidentiality Policy: We keep all conversations in confidence and will only share with the permission of the visitor or party - except in the unusual situation of imminent risk of serious harm to self or others.