In my last blog entry, I gave four ideas for preparing yourself for a successful mediation. Below are four other ideas:
1. Think creatively. Mediation allows you to consider options that the Court would never address. For example, you can contract for the payment of a common child’s college education in a mediated agreement. You cannot do that at trial. Thinking “outside of the box” may result in a much more satisfying resolution of your conflict.
2. Be ready to compromise. If you come to mediation with a position from which you are unwilling to move, then not much will happen in mediation. Come in with an open mind. Most people have an ideal settlement in their heads. However, people should also consider their worst case scenarios and reasonable compromises.
3. Take deep breaths before reacting to something you do not like. If the other mediation participant makes an offer that you find insulting or insane, ask clarifying questions instead of blowing up. It could be that the two of you just have a misunderstanding that can be cleared up through conversation. Through a calm discussion, the other person may determine that the offer he/she made was not fair, or you may see that the offer was not so bad after all.
4. Make it easy for the other person to say “yes.” Your goal is to get the other person to understand your point of view and agree with it. If you are insulting, demeaning, dismissive or otherwise rude, do you think that other person is going to be motivated to agree to what you want? If your suggestion benefits only you, will the other person agree to it? Think about your delivery and demeanor and be able to tell the other person what they have to gain from your proposals
Alona M. Gottfried is a mediator and attorney in Arizona. If you have questions about mediation, she can be reached at: 480-998-1500 or firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a general interest article only and is not intended to be legal advice. See a legal professional before making legal decisions.
Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC
8160 E. Butherus Dr., Suite #7
Scottsdale, AZ 85260