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Mediation is a type of conflict resolution in which an impartial party assists negotiations. There are some mediation tips that can help a person make the most of the process. These mediation tips involve choosing a trained mediator, understanding what to expect from mediation, entering mediation with the right mindset, and staying in control of emotions during each session.
Laws regarding mediator training and qualifications vary from place to place. In some places, a person has to complete training or prove expertise in order to become a mediator. Other places may set strict requirements for prospective mediators. The success of a mediation session may depend, in part, on the training and experience of the mediator. Finding one who is experienced with handling the type of conflict in question can help. For example, a couple trying to resolve custody issues may have a better result with someone who has experience with family law disputes.
It’s important for a party in a dispute to select a mediator with whom he feels comfortable. The mediator should listen well and provide clear answers to questions. The mediator should not seem to be partial to one party or appear to have preconceived ideas about the case. Often, a party to a conflict can find effective mediators by asking a lawyer he trusts for a referral. He may also ask for referrals from friends who’ve been through the mediation process.
Having clear expectations is one of the most important mediation tips. Parties should understand that mediation is intended to end a conflict cooperatively. The mediator is not a judge, and he cannot make a judgment. Mediation is not a court setting in which one party has to prove the fault of the other. Instead, mediation is intended to help the parties work together to come up with an acceptable solution.
When considering mediation tips, another important one is to start the process with the right mindset. This means beginning mediation with the intention of working cooperatively toward an agreement or resolution. Working cooperatively doesn’t mean giving in or giving up. Instead, it means avoiding adversarial negotiation tactics and assigning blame in favor of finding common ground and coming up with a voluntary solution.
Resolving conflicts is never easy, but staying in control of one’s emotions is often critical to the success of mediation. Mediation is usually voluntary. If either party feels verbally abused or threatened, he may refuse to continue. Each party should be firm in stating his expectations but remain respectful at the same time. He should keep an open mind and be willing to discuss alternatives.
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