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Strategic Mediation

The answer, according to a suggested concept of "strategic mediation," is that you as mediator do the exact thing that you believe will best assist these participants at this point in time, under all circumstances, to reach what they view to be their most constructive and fairest agreement. If you are always doing this, doing that which you calculate to best assist the participants at every moment of time, you are well-focused to maximally assist participants. Notice how this can be a test for your facilitative work. If you ask yourself the question: "Am I now doing the exact thing that I believe will best assist these participants to reach agreement?" If the answer is "no," then you might ask yourself why are you doing the exact thing you are doing and what could you best do at this moment in time?

This strategic mediation approach and the mediator's constant self-questioning as to whether what he or she is doing is the exact best possible thing he or she might be doing should lead to the most efficient and economic mediation possible. In this sense, such conceptual guidance has public policy implications. If we are able to identify those skills that best assist participants to make efficient, economic and incremental progress, the growth of mediation as a cost-effective choice in the public and private sectors becomes that much easier a choice to make.

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