I find the stages of a mediation process very interesting as it provides me with an insight of how real-life mediation takes place. While the mediator?s opening statement is tedious to do, I must admit that it is a necessary step. Before the exploration of issues, it is important that both parties are aware of their purpose for coming to the mediation, and to know what to expect and how to conduct themselves.
In my opinion, the opening statement is also useful because it gives mediators a chance to build good rapport with the conflicting parties. He or she will then be able to set the tone to create a friendly and confidential atmosphere for the parties to express their views. By ensuring both parties the confidentiality of the contents of the session, the mediator is encouraging them to be more open in communication. With open communication, the mediator can better understand the underlying interests of both parties, allowing him or her to capitalize on joint interests.
This increases the chances of both parties coming to a possible agreement.
From the UP and UP exercise, I have learnt that private sessions are important because parties may not want to divulge information that will jeopardize their bargaining position. I feel that a good mediator is one who is able to sense when both parties need a private session. At times, a settlement could not be reached even after common interests have been identified and possible solutions brought up. Thus, a mediator should realize that there could be other information that both parties are withholding, hence a need for private sessions. Private sessions can also be conducted when both parties are unwilling to talk because of their bad relationship with each other. The session will be able to allow them to...