A successful mediation requires work from all parties, including the mediator. I know how to set up a mediation to maximize your potential for a fair resolution.
Ideally the mediation follows this process:
The parties provide briefing at least a week before the in-person mediation. I study the briefs and meet with the parties separately before the mediation. The mediation occurs a few days to a week after the separate pre-mediation meetings.
The pre-mediation meetings are a significant step towards resolution by achieving three goals:
- Develops party-mediator rapport to reduce anxiety and smooth negotiation
- Allows the mediator as neutral to review the briefing and get any questions clarified
- Provides an opportunity for the mediator to improve the parties readiness to mediate
Studies have shown that mediation is more frequently successful with pre-mediation meetings.
Typically, I use shuttle mediation without any opening statements, the parties need not interact, except through me. My mediation style is fluid facilitation to match the personalities in the room coupled with firm but fair reality testing to dissuade disputants away from those cherished ideas that are not realistic. I am well prepared, I understand the issues and the arguments. If the mediation is not successful, despite the preparation, I will follow up to keep progress moving so long as the parties see value in my involvement.