Six Stages of Mediation Process

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Submitted By serenitydayz
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Six Stages of The Mediation Process

In mediation, two or more people come together to try to work out a solution to their problem. A neutral third person, called the mediator, is there to help them along. Most mediators have some training in conflict resolution, although the extent of their training varies greatly. Unlike a judge or an arbitrator, the mediator does not take sides or make decisions. The mediator's job is to help the disputants evaluate their goals and options and find their own mutually satisfactory solution.

Mediation is forward-looking; the goal is for all parties to work out a solution they can live with and trust. It focuses on solving problems, not uncovering the truth or imposing legal rules. This, of course, is a far different approach than courts take. In court, a judge or jury looks back to determine who was right and who was wrong, then imposes a penalty or award based on its decision.

Because the mediator has no authority to impose a decision, nothing will be decided unless both parties agree to it. Knowing that no result can be imposed from above greatly reduces the tension of all parties -- and it also reduces the likelihood that someone will cling to an extreme position. Also, if mediation does not produce an agreement, either side is free to sue.

Typically, neighbor-to-neighbor or other personal issues are resolved in a few hours. Negotiations between divorcing couples or small businesses often involve several half-day sessions, spread out over a month or two.
Many people think that mediation is an informal process, in which a friendly mediator chats with the disputants until they suddenly drop their hostilities and work together for the common good. In fact, mediation is a multi-stage process designed to get results. It is less formal than a trial or arbitration, but there are distinct stages to the mediation process.…...

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