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A Guide to Mediation

When divorcing parties negotiate, it is important to seek the help of a mediator. Mediation can be successful if the mediator seeks to understand the needs of both parties. This is why a mediator needs to have certain qualities in order to determine the needs of the parties. The ability to listen, patience flexibility, tolerance, persistence, creativity, and the ability to handle conflict and be emphatic to the parties affected are the important qualities that a mediator must have. While listening to both parties, it is not wise for the mediator to share his own values or opinions. It is quite risky since the mediator might be putting something in that is not really important to the parties.

After listening, he will narrow down the scope of the issues that are really important. The next meetings will be private meetings with the mediator where he will present the other party’s point of view. Without the presence of the other party, the mediator will challenge the position of the one he is with. The weakness of their position will be pointed out by the mediator. This can bring parties closer to an agreement, although it can also go the other way and alienate the party. If a mediator voices out the point of view of the other party in a strong manner, then he can be accused of taking sides. Before beginning the private talks, the mediator should make both parties understand his role in evaluating both sides. They need to know that he is not taking sides but he will just point out the voice of the other in both cases.

As an objective third party, the mediator will be able to offer some options to the parties that they have not thought of themselves. Here the mediator uses his creativity in crafting a solution that incorporates elements of compromise and gain for each party. A mediator needs the critical skill of thinking out of the box. He may go back and forth between the parties to help them move closer to a consensus until they reach a resolution.

If they reach an agreement, the mediator will make sure that it is put to writing. The attorneys of both parties writes the agreement with the mediator simply making sure that it is done. If there is no representation, then the mediator will draft the agreement himself. Then both parties sign the agreement which becomes binding on the parties. The judge will then receive the signed agreement and makes it into an order that can be enforced by the court.

A mediator does not only help divorcing couples but any conflicting parties for that matter. The role of a mediator is to resolve conflicts without any bias.

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