Mediation is a step-by-step process where an impartial third party facilitates a discussion between parties at impasse with the goal of creating mutually acceptable agreements.
Mediation is a process where each party’s story can be told, where the interests, the needs, the concerns of each party can be clarified, where relevant information can be collected and shared. It’s a process where objective criteria can be developed and where options and proposals can be put forth so that civil and respectful negotiation can take place between the parties that will hopefully lead to a more positive resolution for everyone.
Mediation also includes the following:
Understanding where previous attempts to settle have broken down
Pre-mediation work to understand the needs, concerns, and goals of each party
Discussion of best (BATNA), worst (WATNA) and most likely alternative to a negotiated agreement (MLATNA)
Coaching parties in advance of a working session in telling their story and being able to hear other’s stories
Facilitating an exchange of ideas on the issues to be mediated
“Caucusing” with parties when necessary to move discussions forward
Developing options with the parties that are “SMART”—specific, measurable, ascertainable, reasonable and timely outcomes with accountability
This work is done in a wide range of venues from commercial settings to non-profits, business, partnerships, families, estate planning, child custody and divorce.