If you have chosen to go to mediation you have already taken a significant step towards being able to get the most from it. There are a number of things to consider in order to prepare for mediation and to think about whilst you are engaged in the process.
Before you start – getting your attitude right
Perhaps the single most important thing to consider when the enter mediation is your attitude towards it. Mediation is an opportunity to listen, and to be listened to; to hopefully understand the other person’s perspective and feelings and to communicate your own in order to find solutions to difficulties.
What mediation most definitely is NOT is:
• a refereed argument
• an opportunity to blame, accuse and criticize
It may seem a tall order when emotions are running high, but the mediator will be there to help you stay focused on the nature and purpose of the session(s). If you approach meditation with the right attitude you are a good way to being able to make the best of it.
It would be hard to list all of the things that might help when you think about and are engaged in the process of mediation, but some things are worth thinking about; rather than a list of. To find out more click here!
“Do’s and don’ts” here are some positives to focus on that may help:
Understanding – mediation is about understanding and being understood. In this way two people may find solutions to some of their difficulties;
Focus – work at maintaining a focus on what really matters. If there are children involved then make them the focus – what are the best outcomes for them?
Listen – This is key; you will want to have your say and feel you have been
listened to, and so will the other person; work at showing you are really listening;
Respect – Another major factor of mediation is respect. Respect the other’s feelings, attitudes and right to their opinion – hopefully it will result in the same level of respect being afforded to you;
Tact – There are ways to say difficult things that can avoid confrontation and upset; be tactful in what you say and communicate; own what you say and respect the other’s reactions to it;
Flexibility – Another word to use here would be creativity: the best outcome of mediation is that two people are able to resolve some, if not all, of their differences and find ways through them; this requires creative thinking and flexibility together with keeping an open mind;
Negotiation – Being able to negotiate and make compromises can go a long way towards a solution; be prepared to negotiate, compromise and respect the other person’s views and needs;
Homework – Good preparation for mediation will help. Gather your thoughts and identify important issues and facts. Avoid getting angry and listing negative things you wish to say in a session – they will not help;
Stay positive – Mediation is an opportunity to make things better and find solutions that work for everyone. Remain focussed on this and approach mediation with that thinking;
There’s a lot to think about. The most important thing to remember is that by agreeing to enter mediation you have already taken a very positive step. Build upon it and give it a chance to work.