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How to Achieve a Successful Mediation

Successful Mediation

Mediation is generally not a step people take when everything is fine – there’s no such thing as “just-in-case” mediation.  Yet many people tend to think of mediation as one of two extremes: Either a magical fix-all that will instantly solve their problems, or as a perfunctory episode that has no chance of solving their problems.  Either attitude can guarantee that mediation fails as a strategy, but there’s another factor in mediation failure: A lack of preparation.

Mediation is like any other endeavor that we engage in: Its success is directly tied to the effort that both parties bring to it.  In order to give your mediation the best possible chance, you have to come into the experience prepared.

Mediation Preparation Step One: Be on the Same Side

When preparing for mediation, it’s absolutely essential that both parties enter into the mediation agreeing on at least one crucial point: That they want a solution and are willing to work for it.  If one party rejects mediation and is forced into it, it’s almost guaranteed to fail.

So, part of the essential work to be done prior to walking into the mediation room involves both parties committing to the process and entering into it in the spirit of cooperation.  This doesn’t mean you abandon your goals or grievances, but only that you sincerely see mediation as a way to resolve them.

Mediation Preparation Step One: Know What Mediation Is and Isn’t

The next essential part of preparing for mediation is to understand the mediation process, how it works, and what it can do.  Mediation involves a professional, trained neutral – your mediator – who will facilitate discussion and guide both parties to a mutually acceptable solution to their dispute.  A mediator has no authority to impose a solution and isn’t a judge hearing a case.  Their role is advisory, but they also have the skills and experience to intelligently suggest ideas, compromises, and other solutions that can help the discussion.  They usually also have considerable experience in the field in which the dispute occurs and can thus offer practical, workable advice on how to settle things.

Expecting to be able to “argue” your case and convince the mediator to “take your side” is the wrong attitude, and dooms you to fail.  Instead, understand that the mediator is a skilled guide who can help get you where you want to be, and your chances of success shoot up exponentially.

David A. Johnson has been providing quality legal services in East Idaho. As both a private attorney and as a former Bonneville County Prosecuting Attorney, Mr. Johnson has substantial courtroom experience. Mr. Johnson has handled cases all over the State of Idaho. His primary areas of practice are in Bonneville, Bingham, Butte, Jefferson, Madison, Fremont Bannock and Jefferson Counties. In addition, to Idaho Falls, we serve residences in the Blackfoot, Shelley, Firth, Rigby, Rexburg, St. Anthony, Ashton, Ammon, Driggs and Victor, Idaho. [Read more..]