Mediation is a flexible conflict resolution process that allows parties to devise their own solutions to a dispute. An impartial third party, known as a mediator, facilitates negotiations between the parties and helps them understand each other. It's important to enter the mediation process with an open mind and be prepared to discuss the issues that are most important to you. Throughout the process, it's important to remain respectful, empathic, and a good listener.
If one of the parties makes a big concession, be sure to congratulate them for their courageous and positive step. It's also important to regulate your own emotions and not raise your voice or swear words during the mediation session. The mediator will ask questions, rephrase problems, and help identify solutions. They won't take sides, dictate decisions, offer legal advice, or reveal confidences. If everyone agrees, the parties can meet with the mediator without their lawyers or with each other without the mediator of their lawyers.
The mediator should always inform the parties when their hard work has contributed to the success of the mediation. The agreement that results from mediation is not always what the parties expected before mediation. The mediator will finalize the opening statement by informing the contenders that any settlement agreement developed during the session must be reviewed by the Department's Office of General Counsel (OGC), the acting Human Resources Manager and the Office's EEO Officer before it is signed. A good confidential mediation statement can be a road map to help the mediator help you achieve a successful outcome. It's important to remember that the mediator's role is to be an impartial facilitator, not an advocate or judge for either party, and to help the parties reach their own solutions.