Today we’re going to talk about the elements of mediation. These are the things that are happening even when you’re not consciously aware of them.

The first thing that a good mediator is doing is figuring out the interests of the people involved. Why are they there, what are they looking for, and what do they need? Not just what they say that they want.

From there, a good mediator will try to understand the legitimacy of this. Understanding why it is that they want what they want. It’s not disagreeing with them–even if you do–it’s simply trying to understand the world from their point of view so that you can work with them later on as you go through the process.

The next thing is the relationship between the parties. Do they have an ongoing interest? Is there some sort of emotional issue underlying it all that is really holding things up, or might hold it up? Or, is this purely an unemotional business deal for them? Most of the time, people will say it is, but rarely is it that unemotional.

Next, what is their commitment? What is their commitment to trying to get the case settled today? And what is their commitment to going through the process? And most importantly, what is their commitment to compromise? Nobody is going to settle for their worst day in court. So, there is going to need to compromise on both sides, or on all sides, in order to resolve that case.

The next step is: learning how to communicate with that person. Some of this will already have become clear, but as you go through it, what type of wording do we need to use in order to work well with that person? Some people want you to come straight at them, and other people need you to be a little softer and work around the sides, and let them come to their own conclusion.

Last thing: now that you’ve laid that groundwork, now you can be creative. How you can think outside the box to solve this problem if it’s not being solved by simply trading numbers?

Those are all the elements of mediation that a great mediator will bring to the table. If you think your clients could benefit from a results-driven mediator, then contact us at Breakthrough Mediation.