Before Mediation

The following are suggestions that may be useful but may not apply to all Mediation situations.  For clarity, when we refer to the 'Mediation Process' we are including all activity flowing from the initial consideration of and contact with a Mediator through to the arrival at and putting into operation of an agreement.  When we refer to the 'Mediation' (as in 'Before Mediation') we mean the Mediation sessions or meetings.

For many disputes the most important advice can be to engage a Mediator, embrace their guidance and turn up to the Mediation session with an open mind.  Below we augment that basic advice with some more detailed observations on what happens or could happen prior to the Mediation sessions taking place.

Considering Mediation

The MII promotes mediation as a means to deal with any kind of dispute.  It is an incredibly successful mechanism for resolving differences.  If you are considering Mediation you already have good reasons for concluding that the dispute is a problem and that it can't be best resolved by the parties involved.  Glance at the 'Benefits of Mediation' section of this website - most importantly remember;

  • Mediation is private and confidential - no-one involved can publicise the fact of or details of the Mediation.
  • You've got nothing to lose - if Mediation doesn't work you still have all other options open to you.
  • Mediation is generally substantially quicker and cheaper than litigation.
  • By agreeing an outcome you can find a solution that will work in practice.
  • Negotiating and agreeing a resolution improves greatly the chances that you and other parties will abide by and comply with the outcome.
  • Mediation can be an empowering and positive life experience.

Choosing a Mediator

MII Mediators are the best trained and most effective Mediators in Ireland. When choosing a mediator you can use the 'Find a Mediator' function on this website which provides information on mediators in your area and with the expertise to match your needs.  You may also wish to consider the following questions:

  • What are the propsed Mediator's personal attributes? (patience, empathy, intelligence, flexibility)
  • Are they a professionally qualified and regulated Mediator? (such as MII Mediators)
  • How experienced are they in Mediation generally?
  • How experienced are they in the particular area of relevence to you?
  • What is the Mediator's professional background?
  • Is their Mediation training accredited and certified? (All MII Mediators are so certified)
  • Does the proposed Mediator have any conflicts of interest?
  • What are the proposed fees and how are they to be paid?

The Agreement to Mediate

Not to be confused with the 'Mediation Agreement' which comes at the end of the process!  This agreement comes at the beginning and is an important first step towards a negotiated settlement.  It is significant that the parties, before they have raised their issues or met in a Mediation Session have indicated and agreed to Mediate - this forms a strong positive starting point and is their first step towards a collaborative resolution.

The Agreement to Mediate will usually include the agreed process, the agreed format for communications, a confidentiality clause and the agreed payment terms.  The Mediator will draw up the Agreement to Mediate after consulting all parties.  Like all aspects of Mediation the Agreement to Mediate is wide open for the parties input - if there is an important condition or clause the parties wish to be inserted then the Mediator will include it in the document.

Preparation for the Mediation

The following points are not exhaustive nor applicable to all Mediation situations:

  1. In the MII we believe that where possible the structure and form of the Mediation Process should flow from the parties needs and ideas.  To achieve this the Mediator, once engaged, can meet with each of the participants seperately in order to deal with preliminary matters, get a grasp of each participant's starting point and get their input into the structure, timetable and location of Mediation sessions.  The Mediator can also use this opportunity to guide the parties as to the most useful way to communicate during Mediation sessions and ensure as far as possible that the parties are ready to discuss their dispute in a reasonably objective fashion.
  2. You may have agreed in the 'Agreement to Mediate' to prepare and provide certain documents like a Statement or Summary of your position.  In court directed Mediation you may be obliged to exchange documents and provide disclosure of evidence.  In any event setting your position down in a summary will always help.  It is also usually sensible to gather any supporting material, this may include; pictures, medical reports, bank statements, company records and any other documents which support or are relevant to your position.
  3. Consider the issues in a realistic fashion - identify the constraints, legal, financial and practical which will operate on finding a solution.  One of the biggest obstacles to finding swift effective resolutions is parties retaining unrealistic notions of what is possible.  Look at your expectations - are they sensible and realistic?  Could they be put into practice if others agreed to them?
  4. Consider what you know of the other participant's positions.  Consider their likely reposnses to your proposals.  What can you say to them that may assist them in compromising?  What concessions or compromises can you offer which may be important to them?
  5. Take a 'time out' from the dispute and any conflict, resentments or hurt it has caused.  Focus purely on the future and put issues from the past to one side.  How can you make this situation work?  What is needed to resolve your differences?  Remember that no matter how negative feelings have become on either of both sides it is in your own interest and often in the interest of others not involved in the Mediation for an amicable and effective resolution to be found.  Put all your energy into finding a positive outcome.

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Certified Training Courses

The MII accredits mediation training courses which meet set training standards. The following training programmes have been recognised as MII approved training programmes.

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CPD Training

The purpose of CPD is to ensure that Mediators keep their knowledge and skills up to date for the benefit of users of their service and for their own personal and professional development.

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