Things to Consider when Contemplating Mediation


Are you willing to work out an agreement with the person with whom you are disputing?   That is, are you prepared to listen to their side of things (with the help of the mediator), regardless of whether or not you agree with them?  Is reaching an agreement at least equally important to you as being right? 

Perhaps you believe participating in mediation will be faster than going to court.  That may be true, but do you understand that you have a major role in making that happen?  If you want someone to impose a solution upon you and/or the other person, mediation is probably not for you.   The mediator won't determine which one of you is telling the truth, lying, right or wrong.  Mediation is about increasing understanding between people in dispute, uncovering common interests, and helping people get unstuck so that together they, not the mediator, can determine the best outcome.


Is the other person willing to voluntarily try mediation to resolve the dispute?  If not, can you think of reasons that might convince them to get it a try?  For example, if the other person does not want to attend mediation, would it be worth it to you to offer to pay for a larger percentage of the mediation fees?  Or if they don't trust you to pick out the mediator, can you list mediator qualifications that are important to both of you and research mediators that fit those qualifications?  Perhaps the other person would be more comfortable choosing the mediator.  Would that be okay with you if it meant moving forward with the process, and/or could you communicate to the other person what would be important to you in a mediator and then let them pick?

Sometimes people don't want to participate in mediation because they don't understand it.  If they have access to the Internet, could you send them some links about mediation?  If they aren't technically savvy, could you print and mail them information?

Maybe they just don't trust mediation because it's something you suggested.  Is there someone whom you both trust who could explain mediation to them as an option to consider?

If the other person doesn't want to participate, you can't force them to attend.  Only the courts can mandate mediation and only under some circumstances.  If you call Noah Mediation Services, the mediator cannot contact the other person until they have first contacted NMS.  Noah Mediation Services cannot persuade, coerce or force someone to participate in mediation. 

Still not sure?

Call 708-434-0615.   You.  Them.  A phone call won't cost anybody anything.  You and the other person can ask as many questions as you need to ask.  Also, you're not alone in determining if it's the right process for your conflict.  NMS is trained at screening disputes to determine if they are right for mediation.  If it's not appropriate, NMS may be able to suggest other options and/or refer you to other professionals.

We won't mediate cases that aren't appropriate for mediation.  That's a basic tenet of mediator ethics and we take it very seriously.

Noah Mediation Services
(708) 434-0615