Get The Other Side To Mediation

So, let’s say you’re in the middle of some type of conflict—maybe it’s a lawsuit, a divorce, or some kind of family squabble. You’ve decided that mediation would be a very good tool to use to try to find a solution for you and the other parties involved. But what if you’re the only one who sees this potential? What if the other party or parties do not see the benefit of mediation? How do you get somebody to be interested in mediation when they’re not? Let’s explore a few methods.

Approaches to Encouraging Mediation

  • Make it about their sticking point.
    One way to approach this is to find the one thing in the conflict that’s really their sticking point. Take that one thing they’re most vocal about and make the mediation about that specific issue. This way, they see it as a platform to address their concerns directly.
  • Utilize time elements.
    Consider if time is a significant factor for the other party. If so, frame mediation as a means to meet a deadline or achieve a certain goal within their timeframe. This approach offers them a tangible benefit tied to their time constraints.
  • Emphasize listening and understanding.
    Often, people involved in conflicts feel unheard. Present mediation as an opportunity for them to fully express their side without interruption. Highlight the mediator’s role as an impartial listener who will give them undivided attention.
  • Make a small ask.
    Instead of presenting mediation as a daunting process, make a small request for their participation. Ask for just a brief conversation with the mediator, emphasizing that it won’t be a significant commitment on their part.
  • Divert the Conversation
    Shift the focus away from the main conflict and towards discussing the merits of mediation itself. Understand their objections, and try to find any aspects of mediation that they may find appealing. By redirecting the conversation, you can potentially address their concerns and move towards a resolution.

Pitfalls to Avoid
However, there are also approaches you should avoid when trying to encourage mediation.

  • Avoid making it seem like your idea.
    Don’t force mediation onto the agenda, as if it’s solely your idea. Approach it as a mutual benefit and avoid creating resistance by presenting it as an imposition.
  • Avoid Overpromising
    Don’t oversell mediation as a solution to all problems. Instead, focus on getting the other party to agree to participate, letting the process unfold naturally without setting unrealistic expectations.
  • Avoid making it a burden.
    Don’t portray mediation as a cumbersome process. Keep the question small and manageable to reduce resistance and make it easier for the other party to agree.

Conclusion: Finding Common Ground
By employing these strategies and steering clear of counterproductive approaches, you can increase the likelihood of getting the other party to consider mediation. Remember, the goal is to facilitate communication and collaboration, ultimately leading to a mutually beneficial resolution of the conflict.

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