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The individual meetings

  1. Mediation is carried out in neutral premises. Each party has a separate room to wait in and a further room where the meetings will be held.

  2. The first party arrives at 9.30am for their individual meeting, an hour is allocated for this.  As neither of the mediators has any prior knowledge of the issues that have brought the parties to mediation, the order in which the individuals come for their meeting is a random choice.

  3. The mediators introduce themselves, confirm that whatever is discussed during the individual meeting will stay between the party and the mediators and not be discussed with the other party during their individual meeting, or raised by the mediators during the joint meeting. It is for the individual parties to decide what they want to share with each other.  A rough schedule of the day is outlined and any questions the individual parties may have are answered.

  4. Each party is invited to explain how and why they have come to mediation.  This is their opportunity to explain the problem from their perspective.   The mediators will give the party time and space for this explanation occasionally probing any areas that may need more explanation.

  5. Towards the end of the individual meeting, the format of the joint meeting is explained and the party is encouraged to think about an opening statement. This may include what they would like to say to the other party, how the difficult relationship is affecting their work and personal life, and any suggestions they may have on how they would like things to be resolved.

  6. Each party is invited to go and formulate their opening statement and to come back in time for the start of the joint meeting.  They may decide to stay in their room, or to go out for a coffee/breath of air.

  7. The second party then arrives for their individual meeting for which an hour is also allowed, and the same process outlined above is followed.


The joint meeting

  1. The joint meeting is usually started shortly after the end of the second party's individual meeting.  The parties are encouraged to ask for a break at any time if they need one.

  2. The mediators will ask for one of the parties to volunteer to make their statement, requesting that the other party allows them to speak without interruption.  The second party will then make their statement.

  3. Following the opening statements, the discussion then starts and takes whatever direction it takes.  The role of the mediators in this meeting is to facilitate the discussion in a safe and supportive environment, allowing both parties to express themselves openly and honestly.  If necessary the mediators will try to focus the discussion, particularly if it has become repetitive.  The mediators may ask questions for clarification and may reflect on what they are hearing.

  4. The duration of the joint meeting is not set.  At intervals, the mediators will try to draw together the points raised and at some point the parties will be encouraged to start thinking about what they each can do to try to improve the situation.  Where some agreement is reached the mediators will suggest that the action points are written down for both parties to sign-up to.  This agreement is for the parties alone and both are asked to commit to not sharing it with anyone else unless they both agree.  A printed copy is given to each of the parties.

  5. The meeting is concluded by the mediators. They will check that there is nothing else that needs to be said and explain what will happen next. One of the mediators will contact each of the parties in the following month to see how things are going and whether a further meeting is necessary.