Mediation Process: How Does it Work? Saint Paul, MN

Whether the students are lawyers studying at the Mediation Center for Dispute Resolution of Hamline University in Saint Paul or volunteers being trained for community mediation at the Conflict Resolution Center in Minneapolis, the basic process for resolving conflict through mediation is the same.

Mediation offers a unique approach to resolving conflicts by providing a method for creating mutual and efficient resolution to issues in a private, safe and positive environment. With the help of a skilled mediator, the people reach an agreement cooperatively rather than remaining locked in a competitive struggle. Mediation is a road to a workable solution for all.

Each mediation is as unique as the parties involved and the issues confronting them. However, there are six basic stages followed during most mediation:

There are 6 stages of mediation:   1. Introductory remarks 2. Statement of the situation 3. Information gathering 4. Identification of issues and interests 5. Bargaining and generating options 6. Reaching agreement

Introductory Remarks

The mediator will wait until both parties are present and then make introductions. The physical setting will be managed so that no party feels threatened.

Ground rules will be presented that help the mediation go smoothly. If attorneys are present, the mediator will usually ask that the clients speak for themselves.

Statement of the Situation by the Parties

Each person is given an uninterrupted opportunity to tell their story.

Information Gathering

The mediator will ask the parties open-ended questions. The mediator will clarify and summarize key ideas.

Issue Identification

The mediator seeks to identify common goals between the parties, and will determine the order in which issues will be approached.

Bargaining and Generating Options

Various group processes may be used for developing and weighing the benefits of various scenarios or proposals.

The mediator may also decide to hold private sessions with each party in order to move negotiations along. This caucus session provides opportunity to clarify individual ideas or concerns. It is a confidential opportunity for individuals to explore options and entertain alternative solutions to without committing to offering these solutions as concessions.

Group discussion will modify to explore plausible solutions. This can lead to a final agreement, which diffuses the conflict and provides a new basis for future relations.

Reaching Agreement

When an agreement has been reached, the mediator puts the main provisions in writing. When people participate in creating their own agreements, they are more likely to follow though and abide by the agreement.

Resolving Your Conflict

Whether the conflict is within a family system, a relationship breakdown resulting in divorce, an organizational rift, or a civil dispute… call Dorman Mediation for a free one-hour consultation to find out how mediation may be the right solution for you.


Minnesota Web Design