Everywhere you go, there are opportunities to understand and appreciate the benefits of mediation across all walks of life. The mediation of disputes can provide solutions which meet the needs of all parties, cost much less than litigation, are dealt with more speedily, avoid disruption, remove the debilitating effects of conflict and restore relationships.

In the workplace, even the simplest dispute can take a long time to reach a court decision and requires a significant input of time from all litigants, with the consequences of ‘losing’ serious for both business and individuals. Private sector companies and individuals have much to gain by intervening early in conflict situations though using mediation. Public sector organisations can also benefit from massive savings in time and money.

Every small step towards a commonplace awareness of the positive case for mediation has to be a good thing. It may seem like a long time way but the next UK Mediation Awareness Week this October is the perfect example of many small events making a big difference. These will include conferences, seminars, talks and debates involving all aspects of mediation.

Great progress was made last year in UK Mediation Awareness Week in raising awareness, with a number of excellent events. Each of us should consider what small steps we can take to make a space for mediation in our lives – click on the link if you want to join us and make a difference.

It is so heartening to hear the positive language of the current debate around mediation. And now we need to take lots of small steps advance further and create a greater awareness among business leaders, managers and worker representatives around the concept of mediation as a swift, discreet and cost-effective method of resolving employment disputes.

Caroline Sheridan, Chair, Workplace and Employment CMC group and Founder of Sheridan Resolutions