Your Mediator’s first duty is to gather all relevant information – that is, to understand the story from the point of view of both parties. This process will help the Mediator to recognise, even at this very early stage, what differing perceptions there may be about what has caused the dispute. And remember, this information gathering process is entirely confidential!
Your Mediator will also want to understand what other interests and needs have influenced the steps you have taken that have brought you to this position. This is because your Mediator will need to clarify with you what your priorities are. Only by doing that can the process of creating new and innovative settlement options begin, that might overcome the sometimes entrenched positions that have not allowed agreement to be reached previously.
By gathering the details of the case and the perceptions of both parties, your Mediator can then help you apply your needs and priorities to a variety of settlement options that may not have been possible previously. This allows the parties to move forward into new territory where all options for agreement can be reviewed and negotiated.