The Mediation Process

If the parties are willing to try mediation, it can be a more efficient way to resolve problems than filing a lawsuit. This is because the process focuses on a practical solution that takes into account the cost of litigation. Mediation also encourages mutually satisfactory resolutions. Ideally, you will try to resolve conflicts informally before resorting to mediation.

In a mediation session, the mediator will give everyone an opportunity to tell their side of the story uninterrupted. The mediator may ask open-ended questions to get at emotional undercurrents. They will also summarize key points, and make sure everyone has an equal chance to speak. The mediator may also use a facilitative approach to help disputing parties build rapport and work together to find solutions.

Mediators must be comfortable with high emotions, which often show up through confrontational behaviors and raised voices. However, they should be careful not to arbitrarily halt these behaviors if the disputing parties are beginning to share their deepest concerns, which can serve as the foundation for finding solutions.

The mediation will usually end in one of the following ways. Either the dispute will be resolved and the mediator puts its main provisions in writing for you to sign, or an impasse will be reached (meaning that both you and the other party refuse to continue discussing a settlement). In the latter situation, the mediator will usually assist you in determining whether continuing negotiations could be fruitful by telephone. mediation process

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