Preparing for Mediation

 

The Advantages of Preparing for a Mediation Session

 

Mediation is seldom finalized in one session.  It is accordingly always a good idea to spend time preparing for a mediation. This should ideally happen before the start of each mediation session. When preparing for a mediation, its always a good idea to start off by having regard to the following: 

  • The nature of the issues in dispute,
  • Possible outcomes for a matter,
  • The least damaging options available to each party,
  • How the other party may perceive the dispute, and
  • What their best possible outcome would potentially look like.

The more prepared parties are for a family mediation, the greater the likelihood that they will experience the benefits of the process and the greater the likelihood of increased productivity of time and beneficial outcome during the mediation session.

16 Issues to Consider When Preparing for a Mediation :

  • Determine what the conflict is about.
  • Write down all the issues involved in the conflict.
  • Assess what the conflict is about from the other parties’ perspective? What are their potential issues?
  • Consider all the issues that you and the other party agree on?
  • What are the issues that you and the other party disagree on?
THINK ABOUT THE PREVAILING MISUNDERSTANDINGS
  • Unpack the conflict and now carefully assess whether aspects of the conflict have potentially been exacerbated through a misunderstanding on your side or the other party’s side. What is this misunderstanding? How can this misunderstanding be rectified?
THE POWER OF AN APOLOGY  
  • Do you owe the other party an apology and if yes, how should you ideally apologize?  On the other hand, does the other party owe you an apology and in what form?
ADDITIONAL SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION
  • Are there any supporting documents that you need for the mediation process. How will these documents assist you with the resolution of the issues in dispute? 
  • What documents would you require the other party to produce in order to assist with the possible resolution of the matter?

BRAIN-STORM YOUR OPTIONS 

  • Consider your options – what would you like to achieve with mediation? What would be the least detrimental outcome for everyone involved in this conflict?
OUTCOMES 
  • What outcome do you think that the other party would like to achieve?

WATNAS AND BATNA
  • If the mediation is not successful then what is your next best option and what is the likely outcome hereof from time, costs, and results perspective?
COMMUNICATION STYLES
  • Think about the other party’s communication and negotiation styles – what aspects of it are uncomfortable for you or trigger a negative outburst or response? How do you think you can/should handle this if and when it takes place?
PRESSING ISSUES FOR URGENT DISCUSSION
  • Are there are any pressing issues that need to be finalized early on in the process – what are these issues? What are the options? What outcome is needed? How might the other party respond to these issues? Why?

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