What do good mediators do?
What do good mediators do? At a recent seminar hosted by Gary Weiner, Mediation Program Administrator at the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, for the Court’s Mediation Panel, we had a brain storming session on what good mediators do.
Here are some of my gleanings from my colleagues:
- A mediator quickly gets all sides to build trust in the mediator so that: They believe and understand what I need to accomplish with them at the mediation. As mediator, I’m their new best friend by the end of the mediation session so that I can persuade them to do things in their best interest and to listen to me as a mediator.
- A mediator manages the process so power is not considered to be one sided.
- A mediator is a good listener so that ever one is heard.
- Conversely, a mediator is selectively deaf to comments that are counter productive. A good mediator re-formats the incendiary comments to keep the processing moving forward.
- A mediator makes all sides aware of the needs and motivations of the other side.
- A mediator educates all parties to their opponent has reasonable needs and motivations. I start this process before the mediation and continue it through to resolution of the dispute.
- A mediator educates each side on the worst case scenario if there is no resolution to the dispute.
- A mediator will use what ever means is reasonably necessary to resolve the conflict.
- A mediator helps all of the parties to resolve the dispute.
I am happy to fully concur with my colleagues in these practices.
About the Author: Ken Strongman (www.kpstrongman.com) has years of experience and a growing national reputation as a mediator and arbitrator. He has successfully resolved more than a thousand disputes in the fields of construction defects, real estate, intellectual property, and employment. He is also a Mediator and Arbitrator for FINRA.
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