There are generally six steps in the mediation process:
Step One: The mediators meet with everyone to go over the principles of mediation; stress their roles as impartial facilitators; discuss any ground rules for the mediation; answer any questions; and go over the agreement to mediate. During the course of the mediation, the mediators may meet with each party separately. This separate meeting is referred to as a caucus.
Step Two: The mediators will ask each person to share exactly what brings them to the mediation table (i.e. some history, what you are looking to achieve and what is the current situation). This is your opportunity to tell your story without interruption. Before moving on to the next step, the mediators will want to make sure they have correctly heard all that you have said. Therefore, they may ask you some questions, repeat what they believe you have said and ask you to confirm or correct their understanding.
Step Three: The mediators will use the information you have given them to identify the issues that need to be decided. They will identify the important considerations you have in making those decisions and some of the areas of agreement they have discovered while listening to each person tell their story.
Step Four: The mediators will ask you to discuss some of the options you feel will resolve each issue. This is a brainstorming session - so feel free to propose ideas and solutions that you might not even agree to. This will help to get all possible options on the table.
Step Five: The mediators will help you to put these ideas and possible solutions into proposals. They will facilitate the process as you work through any problems and/or objections.
Step Six: The mediators will take the proposals you have agreed to and begin the process of writing them up into your agreement. They will present you with a draft for review before finalizing the agreement.
Last updated on Sep 1, 2011 by NVMS