Mediation services are designed to assist the participants in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution to controversies. The process may take as little as 1 hour, or as long as few days. It will depend on the complexity of the dispute to resolve the matter. The location of mediation can be at a local library, nearest courthouse or at a place where participants agree upon in advance.
An acronym to describe the Mediation Process is called I.T.U.N.A
STAGE 1: INTRODUCTION ➩ To introduce mediations, parties, and review the rules and roles of all the the participants in the mediation process.
STAGE 2: TALKING ➩ To allow the parties to explain the dispute and express feelings about it.
STAGE 3: UNDERSTANDING ➩ To allow the parties to understand all feelings and perspectives.
STAGE 4: NEGOTIATION ➩ To generate ideas for fair solutions to the presented issues.
STAGE 5: AGREEMENT ➩ Write an agreement that clearly defines what will be done, by when and what to do should a future conflict arise.
What Are You Expected To Do?
Listen without interruption
Keep an open mind
Explore workable options
Negotiate in good faith
Come with the authority to decide
Do not electronically record or serve legal documents
The Role of the Mediator
Even though the Mediator explains the parties about their conflict and the process of mediation, it is possible that the parties do not understand what mediation is, nor the Mediator’s role in the mediation. The Mediator is there to help resolve their conflict. The Mediator does not tell them what to do. The Mediator is not acting as a judge or an attorney. The Mediator helps move the process along so they can better evaluate their conflict and brainstorm opportunities to reach a resolution, if possible.
Serve as neutral facilitator
Summarize, restate, and prioritize issues without judgment
Encourage brainstorming between the parties
Help to evaluate options and consequences
Enforce ground rules
Identify areas of mutual interest
Mediation is a win-win outcome for both parties. Janet Kerobyan has mediated, facilitated and conciliated enough cases to make sure each side is evaluated and heard thoroughly. A successful mediator is attention to details, and every emotion, concern and problem is brought to the table so that no “what if’s” are left after the completion of the session.
It is important to realize that win-win does not necessarily mean an equal win. One party may gain more than the other. But as long as both parties gain more by mediating or negotiating, then a win-win outcome is usually achieved. In order to create a true win-win outcome though, both sides' problems must be solved. That is why the mediator needs to first learn what both sides want. The mediator should be guided by yet another basic principle of human psychology: PEOPLE WANT FIRST TO BE UNDERSTOOD BEFORE THEY UNDERSTAND.