Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) which may be applied as a step in resolving a conflict. The two best people to resolve a conflict are the two (or more) involved parties. Hopefully the situation can be resolved through discussion and negotiation. Forcing a resolution to mediation is often an indicator that the involved parties simply cannot work together. The downside of mediation is that in the spectrum of tools to resolve conflict, it is the last step where the parties to the conflict will have control over the outcome. Failed mediations typically end in arbitration -- someone hears the sides of the story and makes the decision for the parties.