MEDIATION THAT WORKS, PART III: USE SILENCE AND TIME AS ALLIES

November 15, 2012 § 2 Comments

This is Part III in a five-part series by attorney and mediator Lydia Quarles with some insights into how you can help ensure success in your domestic mediation.

LEARN TO USE SILENCE AND TIME AS ALLIES

As litigators, we talk.

In mediation, it’s different. We must learn to use silence and time as allies. First of all, parties need to vent. Most mediators will give all parties a period of time to vent in a joint session. Encourage your client to listen respectfully – really listen – while the other party tells his/her story. If this party feels that he has been heard, it makes a difference in the remainder of the mediation.

Recognize that one party to the mediation may need silence and/or time to contemplate. That party may be on the verge of coming to a resolution which causes him/her to give up something dear, to realize that he/she has made erroneous assumptions, or to personally address his/her fear of loss of power, prestige or status. We must give the party time to process those feelings and thoughts.

Mediation is a process. Time and silence are allies.

 

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