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: 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 … Read More 

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 More 

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 … Read More 

Communicate Your Interests Behind the Deal

PON Staff   •  11/03/2020   •  Filed in Mediation

negotiation

As integrative negotiations students know well, focusing on interests in negotiation has proven to be the most reliable way to create value and resolve conflicts. Experience indicates that communicating with your lawyers the motivations behind a deal or negotiated agreement is well worth the time. … Read More 

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