Mediation is not litigation. It is a means of alternative dispute resolution that aims to do just that, resolve disputes. To do that, all parties need to enter the process with cooperation in mind. Here are a few skills that, when practiced, will make the mediation process as easy as possible.
Disputes naturally evoke emotions. Anger, frustration, sadness. This is especially true when you seek mediation for the dissolution of your marriage. So how can you possibly manage your emotions in an emotional setting? The key is to anticipate emotions. If you anticipate emotions and prepare yourself for them, you can better manage them. And when you do this, it makes communication so much easier. Even if you are upset by a difference in opinion or proposals you don’t agree with, by regulating your emotions you can handle those differences reasonably. Remember to be patient and try not to take things personally. At the end of the day, the goal of our mediators is to find an agreeable solution that benefits all parties. You do not have to worry about not being heard.
Another beneficial skill that helps throughout mediation is having an open mind. Remember that mediation is not meant to benefit one person solely. If that is what you are after, litigation may be the better option for you. Mediation is a collaboration, so being flexible in your thinking will make the process easier. Try to steer clear of all-or-nothing mindsets. Through the mediation process there will be a lot of proposals that go back and forth between you and the other party. Instead of being offended by the proposal or scoffing at it, look at how you can make the proposal work. Write down your objections to the proposal and then write down a few changes that would make the proposal more agreeable to you. Not shutting down and keeping an open mind will make for a more constructive back and forth of proposals that will ultimately end in a satisfying resolution.
In a similar vein as controlling your emotions, successful meditation also relies on your controlling your behaviors as well. Mediators will aim to maintain as neutral of an environment as possible and controlling negative behaviors can help with that. Try to avoid pointing fingers, rude, dismissive gestures, raising your voice and displaying a general disrespect for the other party. Avoid interrupting the other person as they are talking. If something they said made you want to make a point, make a note of that thought. Then when it is your turn to speak, you will remember the points you wanted to make. And if you feel yourself getting upset, simply ask to take a break to collect yourself.
Ultimately, if you bring these three skills with you throughout the mediation process, it will make for a much healthier and constructive process. And the end outcome is likely to be far more agreeable to everyone involved. If you need mediation services, our team at Solutions & Resolutions would be happy to help. Reach out to us today to get started.