So you’ve decided not to go legal and you’re going down the path of an alternative dispute resolution. Preparing for a mediation is very important, to get the most out of the process and achieve what you want. What do you do?
You will have an intake appointment with the mediator. You’ll get to explain your side of the story prior to the mediation. In the mediation itself, you really want to be a little bit more succinct about your side of the story. You want to express what your issues are and your emotions around your issues and the reasons behind the issues being issues.
You also want to understand the process of mediation. And so there will be exchange directly, usually between yourself and the other party.
The mediator will ask you to talk to each other.
The mediator will ask you to come up with options for resolution.
You do need to be thinking about ways to resolve the issues that there are.
What you want
You also need to prepare firstly, a bottom line. So what the lowest you’re willing to accept or walk away with from mediation.
You need to think about the worst-case scenario, if you don’t resolve things at mediation.
Then you actually need to have a goal. Your goal will probably lie somewhere between your bottom line and your best case scenario.
So the goal really is what you should have written down and really focus on.
When you’re in mediation or any stressful situation, in fact, your brain struggles to focus. Make it easier for your brain to focus by having your goal written out, and that’s something that your brain can aim towards.
The other thing to really prepare for is in mediation to listen. You really do need come into the mediation, not thinking about what you need to say next. You do need to understand that listening is one of the greatest powers that you have in mediation.
If you can make the other person feel understood, you are also information gathering and there may be more options that arise as you listen, for you to resolve things in a way that you hadn’t thought of before.
Often it’s best to do a mediation as early as possible, and potentially without legal representatives at all.
There’s plenty of time to approach a lawyer prior, to get some initial advice and then get some recommendations about who to go to for mediation.
Try the mediation itself first with you and the other party directly with the mediator. You can often have much earlier, much more cost effective and quick results.