Help clashing parties come to a compromise.
What does a Mediator do?
When two parties struggle to come to an agreement on an issue, they sometimes turn to a mediator to help them work it out. Your clients as a mediator benefit from your assistance because it often means they can avoid a trial, save money, and it produces a quicker resolution than the court system can produce.
The circumstances vary as a mediator, but the topics are commonly labor issues, alimony and child support, contracts, or custody issues. This is a position that is more psychological than legal because you do not have the authority to make any judgments. In fact, you go out of your way to remain neutral.
Your job is not to come up with a solution, but rather to keep both sides on the topic and effectively communicating so that they can come up with a solution themselves. But that doesn’t mean you don’t offer suggestions.
Before you do that, though, you gather information from both sides. Like a good therapist, you’re there to hear what both sides have to say. Then you ask the tough questions that get them thinking. For example, in a heated child custody case, you might ask the parent who travels, what their daycare plans are. Or, in a labor dispute, you might ask the company to consider the cost of replacing their staff.
With the facts on the table, you begin the process of coming up with a solution. Through your guidance, the two sides find a way to compromise and, ultimately, come to an agreement.