Mediation is a method of settlement between two parties who are in conflict with each other. In this process, one uses a form of alternative resolution to the dispute and tries to amicably settle the differences between the two parties. The sessions are presided over by a third party (mediator) who listens to the viewpoints of both the disputants and reaches a final decision. Appropriate methods are used to improve or solve the dispute. Normally, all the arguing parties view the mediator as impartial, and often heed his/her advice and dialog. The mediator uses various strategies to solve disputes such as legal, commercial, diplomatic, personal, family matters, and workplace issues.
Mediation can be used as a means of accessing and understanding the various facets of the case with respect to both the parties. This is done by unfolding and solving every issue and knowing every fact that is related to the case. One can use many different methods for this purpose, but if you are just starting out, follow these simple mediation techniques for beginners.
Before starting the session, consider the strengths and weaknesses of both your clients. Look at the case with empathy. Look for facts, learn the points of the case in detail, and you will be able to reach an impartial decision.
Prepare Your Client
Before a session, meet your client, and go over your planned strategy. Explain to your client his/her role in the session. If the party you are representing has never participated in a mediation session, inform him/her how the process works and what he/she can do to help the case. Make sure you have full authority while speaking on behalf of your client.
The Opening Line
Never make a judgment in the opening line. Lay a proper case and show your client's point of view. Be clear on the background facts, legal theories, and defenses. You should anticipate the other team's position also. Use the opening line as an advantage, explain your strengths and weaknesses and why you think your client has the upper hand in this case. Never abuse or pick up a confrontation with the opposite party. Such harsh activities will make you lose the case.
Use a Logical Approach
Everyone has their own way of looking at things. Some individuals are quiet and patient, while others get angry in a split second. You will deal with such people on a regular basis. The best way to solve such situations is to use your own negotiating skills and style. If you are of the quiet type, have a steady approach to your things. If you are flamboyant, use your personality to ensure an impartial decision.
Don't be Afraid
Every arbitrator needs this attribute. Never be afraid. If you see that the chances of settlement are slim, never walk away from the session. Walking away makes the matter worse. Use some conflict resolution techniques to deal with such situations. Similarly, if the parties reach a mutual agreement and it's the end of the day, then agree to continue these discussions for two to three days so that in this time, the parties will consider their position and make the best out of the deal.
This is one of the best conflict resolving approaches, and it should never be overlooked. Be principled in your negotiations. If you make a point or a demand, make sure it's because your client has made a logical point, and you believe in it. Never go back and forth on decisions.
No matter how confident you are about your client and your case, there are certain mediation techniques that will help ensure that you are prepared to have an effective negotiation for your client. While the points that are mentioned above should not necessarily be followed, you can treat them as guidelines.