As a process that involves two disputing parties coming before a neutral third to try and find a resolution, structure and guidelines and guidelines to the process are necessary. The following are some of the basic steps followed in mediation.
Here, the mediator provides an opening statement to the proceedings. He/she gives an outline of the proceedings, with particular regard to the roles of each party, time to be taken, and the protocol of dispute resolution.
At this point, both sides are provided an opportunity to give their sides of the story. Most often, the party feeling most aggrieved will go first. Regardless, this opportunity is used by the parties to frame the issue at hand in their words, thus giving the mediator a chance to assess the emotional state of each side.
Once both sides have presented their cases, the mediator asks questions that help them gather facts and seek clarification. Additionally, it is in the mediator’s best interests to find a common understanding of both parties. For effective information gathering, the mediator needs to build rapport with both sides.
Generating solutions and agreements
Once the mediator is sufficiently satisfied with the information gathered, they will look to come up with a proposal that both sides can take sides agreeing upon. The commitment of both parties to finding a settlement is crucial, as their input goes a long way in achieving that.
Theresa Beatty is an experienced family/divorce mediator who works in LaGrange, Georgia. Her work has helped many families find lasting solutions to pressing issues.