What is the mediator’s role?
Accomplished mediators are able to focus on the real concerns of the parties and not merely one person’s view or position.
The role of the mediator is to help the parties:
- Determine whether mediation is appropriate
- Assess the capacity of the parties to negotiate their interests effectively
- Design the mediation process
- Guide the setting of agreed-upon ground rules
- Conduct the mediation process impartially
During mediation, parties are encouraged to discuss their concerns, interests, issues and options in order to contribute to elements of settlement and settlement implementation. A good mediator helps the parties manage their emotions and maintain dignity throughout the entire process.
It is not the role of the mediator to serve as an expert on the specific matters in dispute or to propose a settlement. However, a mediator can prove useful to the parties in identifying areas they may wish to explore in crafting settlement options. The parties retain ownership and control of their issues and of the responsibility for resolving them.
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