Roles of the Mediator
The mediator's ultimate role is to do anything and everything necessary to assist parties to reach agreement. In serving this ultimate end, the mediator may take on any or all of the following roles:
The mediator may assist in contacting the other party(ies) to arrange for an introductory meeting.
The mediator educates the parties about the mediation process, other conflict resolution alternatives, issues that are typically addressed, options and principles that may be considered, research, court standards, etc.
The mediator seeks to ensure that each party is fully heard in the mediation process.
When necessary, the mediator can help by rephrasing or reframing communications so that they are better understood and received.
Questioner and Clarifier
The mediator probes issues and confirms understandings to ensure that the participants and the mediator have a full understanding.
The mediator comes to be trusted to suggest procedures for making progress in mediation discussions, which may include caucus meetings, consultation with outside legal counsel and consultation with substantive experts.
Angel of Realities
The mediator may exercise his or her discretion to play devil's advocate with one or both parties as to the practicality of solutions they are considering or the extent to which certain options are consistent with participants' stated goals, interests and positive intentions.
By offering options for considerations, stimulating new perspectives and offering reference points for consideration, mediator serves as a stimulant for the parties reaching agreement.
Responsible Detail Person
The mediator manages and keeps track of all necessary information, writes up the parties' agreement, and may assist the parties to implement their agreement.