At the Mediation Session

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Arrive early and be prepared   Have your worksheet, documents and other papers organized. Bring a copy of each document you want to show the mediator and for the other parties as well. Always bring a pad of paper and a pen to take notes.

Attendance   Make sure that everyone who is important to presenting your case and reaching agreement will be at the mediation hearing. Confirm their attendance the day before the hearing. Remember that you must tell the mediator and the other party if you plan to bring someone to the mediation session.

Participate   The mediator may suggest guidelines for participation which can be intended to encourage dialogue. Think about what guidelines you need to feel comfortable explaining yourself to the other party. An example of a guideline for your mediation may be "only one person speaks at a time". Be prepared to ask for guidelines that will help you.

Follow the process   Follow the directions that the mediator gives about how the session will be handled. It is your process, so if it is not working for you, ask to have a discussion of the process and be prepared to suggest alternatives.

Be Brief   Stick to the main facts. You do not need to agree on the history of the dispute in order to settle. Focus on the future. This is a process of finding resolution, not laying blame.

Interruptions   Do not interrupt the mediator or the other side. The mediator will give you equal time to present your case. If you have comments or disagree while someone is talking, write it down to refer to it later.

Listen   Sometimes the other side will say things that you disagree with or that upset you. It is important that you first listen to what is being said before responding. Taking notes may help you to pay close attention.

Negotiate   Mediation will involve both sides giving and taking. Do not expect that you will receive everything that you want. Be flexible.

Stay   Sometimes you will feel like the mediation is not making enough progress. Do not become discouraged. Continue to listen and to explain your side.



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