So, you’ve agreed to take part in the mediation process and work with a Reichwald Mediation Associate. What can you expect to happen?
Before the day of the mediation
your appointed mediator will have had a telephone conversation with you to confirm your agreement to the process, and to understand the situation from your point of view. They will explain the process of the day.
They will also explain that you will need to sign a mediation agreement, and talk you through what the agreement contains and the implication of it for you.
Your mediator will also explain that you can have someone present to support you through the day such as a friend or a colleague. Most mediations are completed in a day but it can be a long day and you will be asked to confirm that you have no commitments that could put a time limit on the process.
On the day
your mediator will meet you at the venue at the agreed time and show you a room allocated for you and will explain the layout of the venue. Three rooms will have been booked, one for each participant and one for the mediator and joint sessions.
Once both parties have had time to settle the mediator will move to the first stage of the process and invite both parties to a joint session. Here, each will have the opportunity to make an opening statement outlining the cause of the situation. This can be quite emotional, but it is when each participant can get their issues off their chest.
Your mediator will then have a number of one-to-one sessions with each party. Here, the purpose is to begin moving everyone away from the past and from blame, and to think instead what needs to change in order to move forwards and address the issues. These one-to-one conversations are confidential, and your mediator will need your agreement to share with the other participant any of the thoughts you have shared. You remain in control throughout the day.
At any given point in the day the mediator may suggest that it could be advantageous to have another joint session. The purpose will be to draw everyone’s thoughts together to see whether the basis for an agreement is forming. Further one-to-one sessions may be necessary.
When the mediator believes there is a foundation on which to draft an agreement, they will first confirm with each party that this is the case. They will assess whether there is the commitment to enter an agreement, and also to make it work.
This draft agreement will be offered for consideration. A further joint session and/or one-to-one sessions will seek to build on this, and reach a final agreement that each party can accept.
The agreement will usually also state when both parties agree to a review of the agreement with the mediator. This may be through a meeting or a telephone call.