If you are involved in a conflict, ask yourself the following: How much stress is this conflict causing me? To what extent would it be worthwhile for me to have this problem solved? Even if the conflict cannot be resolved, are there any concrete changes that may be necessary to make my life easier?

Professional mediators are experts in conflict resolution. Some disputes can be ignored, and others resolved without any of the parties doing great things.

When does the conflict become one which possibly requires the involvement of a third party? I think there are three basic factors to answer this question.

  1. A decision must be made.
  2. Something of value is at stake.
  3. The parties involved have not been able to come up with a solution on their own.

Determining what is considered "something of value" is a personal matter. The cost of mediating a particular conflict must be weighed against the cost of doing nothing. The costs of inaction and indecision are sometimes very high. If you do not act, the conflicts get worse and may end up costing as much or more than acting. And we must bear in mind that the cost of many conflicts is both economic and emotional. The latter is often higher than the economic one.