What do I do in a mediation?

FAQ Mediation San Francisco
FAQ Mediation San Francisco

As your mediator, I am neither your friend nor foe.   All too many come into the mediation anticipating that they will “win over” me or that I will advocate on their behalf. Often when this fails to happen, and it should fail to happen, they treat the mediator as an adversary. This does not help them reach resolution and often creates a situation where the entire process is undermined, preventing resolution even where one is possible.

As mediator I am on neither side of the dispute.  I am an impartial third party that wants the parties to resolve their dispute.  This means that while I may see both sides of the dispute, and may for many reasons, develop a professional opinion or gut instinct as to the reasonableness of the positions and the likely outcome of potential litigation, your mediator should have no stake in the outcome and should not be on your side or any other.

The only way for me, as your mediator, to be an effective problem solver is to maintain my credibility and objectivity through neutrality. Help me by understanding this and supporting my position of neutrality.  Not only will this help me to resolve your dispute, but doing so will help you to understand and trust my motive in giving an opinion, regardless of whether it is favorable or not, and to gain confidence in the information I am bringing to you, both of which will ultimately lead to higher satisfaction with the resolution chosen.

Ken StrongmanAbout 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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