Posted by: Oct 13, 2023

How Do You Talk During Mediation

Mediation is a widely utilized dispute resolution process that is crucial in resolving legal disputes. This non-adversarial approach provides parties with an opportunity to reach mutually agreeable solutions. It also helps avoid the lengthy and expensive court proceedings associated with litigation.

So, how do you talk during mediation? Compared to most other parts of litigation, mediation promotes collaboration. At The Curley Law Firm, we’ve found that using the communication techniques mentioned below can lead to a successful mediation.

What Is Mediation?

Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process. A mediator assists the parties involved in a dispute to reach an acceptable resolution. Mediation empowers the parties to control the outcome of their dispute, making it a popular choice for various legal matters. Unlike in a trial, parties often speak to one another to reach an agreement.

Types of Mediation

How you communicate during mediation depends on the type of mediation you choose. The three common forms of mediation include:

  • Facilitative mediation. The mediator guides the conversation and creates a structured dialogue. Facilitative mediation often enables the parties to develop solutions, empowering them to control the outcome.
  • Evaluative mediation. The mediator takes a more active role in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case. They offer an expert evaluation and might suggest potential outcomes in court.
  • Transformative mediation. The mediator aims to enhance the parties’ communication skills and ability to make decisions together. This method promotes personal growth and transformation to reach meaningful and sustainable resolutions.

Your attorney will review your case and help you decide the best type. You can also ask a mediator which style they recommend. 

How To Talk During Mediation

Communication is the key to successful mediation. Parties can engage in open and constructive dialogue and work together to find mutually acceptable solutions. The way mediation parties communicate can significantly impact the outcome of the process. 

Parties can talk with one another through the following phases of mediation.

Opening Statements

Each party or their attorneys may give opening remarks at the start of the mediation. These statements provide an opportunity for parties to express their wants and concerns. It’s essential to share your perspective clearly to ensure everyone understands your position.

Private Caucuses

The mediator may conduct private meetings with each party. These are confidential discussions where parties can speak openly with the mediator about the dispute. Private caucuses help the mediator identify what each party wants and find opportunities for a resolution. The mediator may rank your most significant concerns and see if there are issues you are willing to compromise.

Joint Sessions

Joint sessions bring parties together to discuss issues discussed during the private meetings. With your permission, the mediator may share your views and help both parties explore common ground. Here, parties can ask questions, seek clarification, and engage in problem-solving discussions.

How to Effectively Speak During Mediation

Parties often want to know how to talk during mediation. They don’t want to be too confrontational but also want to avoid compromising on every point. Here are some tips to help you speak with the other side.

Constructive Language

The use of constructive and non-confrontational language is essential in mediation. Parties should avoid hostile or accusatory statements and focus on expressing their needs, interests, and desired outcomes in a positive and solution-oriented manner. The choice of words can significantly impact the tone of the mediation process.

Non-Verbal Communication

Non-verbal cues, such as body language and facial expressions, play a significant role in mediation. Parties should be aware of how their non-verbal communication may affect the perception of their statements. Maintaining composure, making eye contact, and demonstrating openness can contribute to a more constructive dialogue.

Active Listening

How do you talk during mediation if you have nothing else to say? Giving the other side room to speak is part of the process. Parties must genuinely hear and understand each other’s perspectives, concerns, and interests. Listening without judgment and with an open mind can help foster trust and create an atmosphere where collaboration becomes more accessible.

How to Choose the Right Mediator

Choosing the right mediator is crucial when navigating conflicts. You need a neutral third party who will help guide the conversation. 

Here are some essential tips to help you make the best choice:

  • Check their qualifications. Look for a mediator with the appropriate qualifications and certifications. They should have undergone formal training and have a solid understanding of mediation principles and techniques.
  • Review their experience. Opt for a mediator who has successfully handled cases like yours. Their expertise in your specific area of conflict can make a significant difference in the mediation process.
  • Evaluate their communication skills. Effective communication is key in mediation. Your mediator should be an active listener and be able to lead productive discussions.
  • Look for references. Ask for references and testimonials. Hearing from past clients can give you valuable insights into the mediator’s track record and client satisfaction.
  • Find the correct location. Choose a mediator who is near both parties or available for online mediation. You don’t want travel delays and distance to hinder the process.

Consider these factors when making your choice, and you’ll be on your way to a more effective mediation experience.

Do You Need Mediation or Legal Representation? 

Adam Curley has over 15 years of legal experience. Besides being a proven trial attorney, he is also a certified mediator. He offers reliable and professional service no matter which service you need. 

Contact The Curley Law Firm to discuss your case and see if mediation can help resolve your dispute.