The Mediator

The Role of the Mediator

The Mediator is the neutral guardian of the mediation process and artfully manages a conversation between parties.

The Mediator sets and enforces the rules of conduct, ensures power is balanced throughout the mediation, and models effective listening skills for the parties. The Mediator provides helpful and sensitive direction on the process of mediation and is vigilant not to self-invest in the content of the dispute.

The Mediator strives to build trust, clarify perceptions and unmask assumptions.

The Mediator protects the dignity of the parties, listens deeply to all parties and highlights the parties’ mutual and complementary interests as they emerge during the mediation.

The Mediator can be active, passive, directive or transformative depending on the needs and desires of the parties. The extent of the Mediator’s role will vary greatly from dispute to dispute.

 

What the Mediator Doesn’t Do

The Mediator does NOT provide legal advice. From time to time, when a Mediator has the skill set of a lawyer or adequate knowledge of the law, the Mediator may provide basic legal information in order to keep the parties and their discussions within the realm of what the law generally considers acceptable. But that information does not constitute legal advice and the Mediator should always be clear on this point. The parties are responsible for securing their own legal advice throughout the mediation process, or at the end of it, before signing an agreement.

The Mediator does not make substantive decisions about the issues in dispute. While the Mediator controls the process of mediation, the substantive solutions that emerge from the process are created by the parties themselves and are completely consensual.

The Mediator does not judge solutions or indicate preferences for certain solutions over others. A core concept underlying mediation is that the parties are in complete control of the outcome of the process.

The Mediator does not try to “rescue” the parties from anything, nor does the Mediator act as a “therapist.” The Mediator’s job is to help manage a conversation, wherever that conversation may take the parties.

 

Selecting a Mediator

Select a Mediator in whom you have confidence and with whom you are comfortable. It is a good idea to do some research before making a selection. Mediators come from various disciplines and walks of life, and each has a distinct style. We encourage you to contact us and ask us any questions you may have so that we may inform your decision to mediate as much as possible.

 
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