16 Tips for Successful Mediation Participation

Here are 16 tips from the Virginia Department of Employment Dispute Resolution. You might find this list useful in adding to you current way of getting clients ready to prepare for mediation. Enjoy!

1. The power to settle this dispute lies entirely with you and the other party.

2. Come prepared to work hard and use, to the fullest, this opportunity to reach resolution.

3. Approach the mediation with the willingness to be open and honest about the issues that you find problematic.

4. Admit to yourself how you might have contributed to the problem.

5. Be ready to look to the future and to let the past be past.

6. Be prepared to state your concerns and what you need to resolve your concerns in two or three sentences.

7. Think about what the other party’s concerns may be and what the other party might need to resolve these concerns.

8. Be ready to offer creative solutions to the problem that address both your needs and the needs of the other party.

9. Make sure that you and the other party in the mediation have the necessary decision-making authority to resolve the issues.

10. Commit to uphold the confidentiality of the mediation discussions.

11. Carry out all agreement items in good faith.

12. Be mindful that this agreement is a “point of departure” for your ongoing efforts to improve your working relationship, not the final destination.

13. Re-visit the items of agreement at least every 2-3 weeks to see if they still make sense or if they need further clarification or adjustment.

14. Take the initiative to seek out the other party and continue to discuss how to make the agreement work.

15. Recognize the potential for the need to ask for help or a return to mediation, if the situation begins to worsen, and do so before things get out of hand.

16. Celebrate your decision to utilize the mediation process and use your power to resolve the dispute.

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