Participating in mediation

Try something new

Old habits of arguing do not resolve conflicts so try something new.

  • Formal lengthy speeches need not be prepared. Less is better.
  • Express yourself strongly but without rancour.
  • Berating, reprimanding and scolding are the most ineffective way of changing minds.

Old habits of listening do not resolve conflicts so try some new ways of hearing.

  • The best advocates firstly seek to understand, then seek to be understood.
  • Good listening is actually about showing that you are listening. So acknowledge that in some way.

Acknowledging that you are listening:

  • Does not mean agreeing with someone;
  • Will cost you nothing;
  • When genuine, means more than any other kind of advocacy;
  • Can take any form from a simple nod, gesture, verbal concession, allowance, recognition, apology etc;

Remember, any comment in a mediation, such as an acknowledgement, is confidential.

Ask questions

  • Do not hesitate to ask questions about the difficult issues.
  • Use open, direct questions and enlist the help of the Mediator to frame questions.
  • The Mediator will ask an ample number of helpful questions.

Be flexible

  • The strongest negotiating position is one that has some flexibility.