As a mediation coach, my mantra is “Mediation can be one of the most important days of your life. The decisions made that day can affect you and your family for the rest of your lives.”
I like to remind people of the importance and far-reaching effects of mediation because time after time disputing parties tell me that they went into mediation not knowing what to expect, they got overwhelmed during the session and had trouble making sound decisions, or they just got worn down and did whatever it took to get it over with.
A mediation session characterized by anxiety, confusion and disappointment can be avoided with the proper knowledge and proper preparation. Indeed, one secret to achieving success at the mediation table is to be prepared. Don’t fall into the all-too-familiar trap of walking into a mediation room woefully unaware of the ins and outs of the mediation process and the basic communication strategies you should employ during a conflict-related encounter.
Here are five points to keep in mind to help you deal with the pressures, pitfalls and possibilities of mediation:
Write your thoughts down on paper and read it aloud. This process helps you organize your thoughts, identify your priorities and set realistic expectations. Take a colored highlighter and identify your key points. Take this paper with you to mediation. If you are represented by legal counsel, give your attorney a copy. Many people have told me sharing this written presentation with their lawyer has helped clarify issues and has improved the attorney/client relationship.
The increasing popularity of mediation to resolve disputes is evident in settling divorce cases, civil matters and workplace conflicts. One reason it is being used more and more frequently in a variety of settings is that it works; it is a cost-effective, time-efficient and less stressful way to manage and resolve conflict. If you find yourself facing mediation, make it work for you: take the time to get the preparation you need to succeed and reach a favorable settlement. Your future can depend on it.
Many in the legal blogosphere are buzzing about the recent Supreme Court decision letting stand a Central District injunction barring wheelchair-bound Jarek Molski from filing further ADA accessibility cases in...By Victoria Pynchon