Before the Mediation, prepare, prepare, prepare!
For success in anything, preparation is key. So, too, for mediation whether you are the Mediator or a Participant in a mediation.
- Review the logistics of the session: calendar the date, time and location correctly and reconfirm a day ahead by phone or e-mail. This is important, especially if there are any transportation concerns (e.g., morning traffic, flight arrival times, different time zones). Have everyone’s contact information readily available in the event of an emergency.
- If mediation is online, check your computer or device to be assured your audio and video components are working correctly. Login early to double check any technical concerns.
- Practice Tip: Scheduling a Zoom or other video conferencing call in advance allows you to work out any tech issues before the mediation, become comfortable with a virtual setting, reconfirm the logistics and decide how the process will begin (joint session with mediator or in separate rooms).
- Review your checklist:
Agenda: Have you written out a statement to read or notes to review so you don’t forget anything. Consider what is most important to you today as opposed to focusing on the past.
Parties: Are all necessary people attending the mediation? Do they have settlement authority? Is anyone not attending who is key to reaching an agreement?
Documents: do you have copies of or able to provide digital copies of contracts, statements, letters, invoices, photos, cases, timesheets, etc.? What other documents do you need to review or want to share?
Settlement negotiation: What offers have been made so far? What are you now willing to say or do to settle? What non-monetary options are available?
What are your options if you do not reach an agreement? If going to court is an option, what will be your future litigation costs?
Mindset: Probably the most important item is attending the mediation with an open mind and an attitude to listen to understand what is said and to convey your perspective so it is heard. If emotions are triggered, be aware of your reaction and consider best way to respond. Ask for a break if needed.