A successful mediation is dependent on the parties’ behaviors and attitudes. To ensure you make your mediation a success—thereby avoiding the costs of going all the way to court—follow these three practical mediation tips.
#1: Keep Emotions to a Minimum
At its core, your mediation session is a business deal. You are there to discuss all open issues and come to an agreement. This requires listening, discussing and compromising. If you let your emotions get the better of you, you will lose negotiating power and you will likely not get through everything you need to discuss. If you feel your temper rising or if frustrations are coming to a head, call for a break. Give yourself time to breathe and remind yourself what you are there to do. Then get back in there and focus.
#2: Prepare for the Long Haul
While some sessions may move quickly, most do not. There is often downtime as the mediator works with each individual party. Plan for that downtime. Bring snacks, drinks, full meals. Have a book or your laptop with you. Do whatever you can to keep your mind engaged throughout the process—the more you let the downtime get to you, the more apt you are to miss something important or compromise where you should not.
#3: Listen to the Mediator
Your mediator will make observations and provide feedback throughout your session. While your mediator cannot and will not provide you with legal advice, it is important to listen to what he or she is saying. They have probably mediated many sessions like yours and may offer insight that you may not have considered beforehand. Remain open-minded when listening to your mediator—and the opposing party, for that matter. You never know when someone may offer up something that can turn the tables and give you just what you need to reach a final agreement.
Looking for More Guidance Before Your Scheduled Mediation Session?
While it is possible to head into a personal injury or family law mediation session without legal representation, your best chance of success almost always comes down to having an experienced attorney by your side. That attorney can prep you for what mediation will look like in your particular situation and provide you with the advice and guidance you need throughout to make smart decisions. If you’d like to know more, we welcome you to contact our experienced team today.