Do you need a mediator?


The settlement of disputes can be negotiated without mediators, so why use a mediator?

There are many reasons why it may be better to engage a mediator to help resolve a dispute than attempt to negotiate without one.

Amongst other things, mediators:

  • Avoid parties becoming locked into procedural wrangles as to how the negotiation is to be conducted
  • Provide the parties with a structure and a process for their negotiations
  • Ensure that the process is fair
  • Assist the parties prepare for mediation
  • Explain the agreement to mediate and oversee its signing
  • Introduce participants
  • Open the mediation
  • Inculcate the negotiations with calmness and optimism
  • Offer encouragement to the parties
  • Assist with identifying the best order by which topics and issues are discussed
  • Keep the parties focused
  • Control and neutralize destructive statements and behaviours
  • Chair the discussions
  • Ensure that the parties are heard and able to make their views clearly known
  • Ask questions by way of seeking clarification
  • Avoid misunderstandings
  • Provide objective feedback to the parties
  • Challenge the parties if necessary
  • Obtain information in confidence from the parties (which they are not prepared to share with each other) so as to better guide the parties to settlement
  • Talk to those present individually or in various groupings
  • Manage lawyers and experts
  • Act as a go-between the parties
  • Determine when it is best to take breaksIdentify obstacles to settlement
  • Keep track of what topics and issues have yet to be discussed
  • Keep track of what is agreed and disagreed
  • Assist the parties generate and assess settlement options
  • Make suggestions as to how to avoid or overcome impasses
  • Assist the parties with formulating the terms of settlement
  • Assist the parties decide whether or not to settle
  • Assist the parties ensure that the terms of settlement are accurately expressed, fully recorded, practical, realistic and enforceable
  • Wrap up the mediation


See also:

What is mediation?

What is a mediator?

The benefits of mediation

Is mediation suited to your dispute?