Mediation

Mediation is a process of third-party involvement in a dispute. A mediator cannot impose an outcome but rather assists the disputing parties in reaching their own agreement. Mediation can be used in a wide range of disputes, including labor disputes, public policy disputes, disagreements among nations, family disputes, and neighborhood and community quarrels. According to research, about 80% of dispute mediations lead to resolution.

A mediator must be able to command trust and confidence by building a rapport with the parties in the mediation process. Opponents must feel their interests are truly understood, because only then can a mediator reframe problems and float creative solutions.

As compared with other forms of dispute resolution, mediation can have an informal, improvisational feel. It can include some or all of the following mediation techniques for conflict resolution:

Planning: Before the process begins, the mediator helps the parties decide where they should meet and who should be present.

Joint discussion: After each side presents its opening remarks, the mediator and the disputants are free to ask questions with the goal of arriving at a better understanding of each party’s needs and concerns.

Caucuses: If emotions run high during a joint session, the mediator might split the two sides into separate rooms for private meetings, or caucuses.

Negotiation: At this point, it’s time to begin formulating ideas and proposals that meet each party’s core interests—familiar ground for any experienced negotiator. A mediator can lead the negotiation with all parties in the same room, or may engage in “shuttle diplomacy,” moving back and forth between the teams, gathering ideas, proposals, and counterproposals.

These and other techniques and strategies are discussed in articles available at PON.

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Dear Negotiation Coach: Can External Advisers Hinder a Problem Solving Approach?

PON Staff   •  05/03/2022   •  Filed in Mediation

problem solving approach

There are numerous advantages to hearing from external advisers and experts in a high-stakes negotiation. However, when talks are at an impasse, limiting the negotiation to a small number of participants may be a more beneficial problem solving approach than including outside opinions.
This was at the heart of a recent question answered by Guhan Subramanian, … Learn More About This Program 

Negotiation Research You Can Use: Moving from In-Person to Online Mediation

PON Staff   •  01/06/2022   •  Filed in Mediation

online mediation - online negotiations

Laptops, smartphones, databases, and project-management software have become common tools of the negotiation trade. Meanwhile, even as online dispute resolution has risen in popularity, online mediation remains elusive, with mediation being a largely technology-free zone, with smartphones often turned off and tucked away.

“The field of mediation has proved surprisingly resistant to technological influence, an island … Learn More About This Program 

Dear Negotiation Coach: To Get Unstuck, Hire a Mediator

PON Staff   •  07/06/2021   •  Filed in Mediation

Mediation Hire a Mediator

Most business people understand the value of using mediation to resolve conflicts, but did you know that professional mediators can help you reach an agreement during the dealmaking phase? Stephen Goldberg, professor emeritus at Northwestern School of Law, describes how you can hire a mediator to aid both parties in creating value at the negotiating … Learn More About This Program 

Mediated Communication Pitfalls

Katie Shonk   •  05/17/2021   •  Filed in Mediation

mandated mediation mediated communication

Faster, cheaper, and less risky than a court trial, mediated communication can empower parties to try to overcome their differences. But as a mediated communication example involving the National Football League (NFL) and its former players over liability for head injuries illustrates, mediation needs to be conducted carefully, or it can create even greater harm.
A … Read Mediated Communication Pitfalls 

Negotiator Toolbox: Using E-Mediation to Resolve Disputes

PON Staff   •  04/26/2021   •  Filed in Mediation

e-mediation

The Problem: You want to hire a mediator to help you resolve a conflict that you’re having with an individual or a company, but meeting face-to-face would be difficult. Perhaps you and the other party are located in different geographic areas, or social-distancing guidelines are keeping you apart. Maybe your dispute originated in an online transaction … Learn More About This Program 

Definition of Mediation and the Mediation Process: The Impact of Lawyers on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

PON Staff   •  12/31/2020   •  Filed in Mediation

mediation

How does the presence of lawyers affect the mediation process and mediations in general? You might guess that when one or both sides bring an attorney to a mediation, the process would become more contentious and adversarial, with impasse more likely, than if the parties worked solely with a mediator. … Learn More About This Program 

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