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Massachusetts Mediation Services

From the Law Office of Robert P. Murray

©2009 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Robert P. Murray, Esquire


Ground Rules for the Mediation Process

When I conduct mediation, I review the following rules with the parties in order to ensure that the mediation process moves along smoothly and minimizes antagonistic behavior. It is recommended that each party:

  • Attack the problems and concerns at hand. Do not attack each other.
  • Avoid positions; rather express yourself in terms of needs and interests and the outcomes you would like to realize.
  • Work for what you believe is the most constructive and fairest agreement for both of you.
  • During settlement meetings, remember the following:
    • Do not interrupt when the other party is speaking. You will have a full and equal opportunity to speak on every issue presented for discussion.
    • Do not use language that blames or finds fault with the other. Use non-inflammatory words. Be respectful of others.
    • Speak for yourself; make “I” statements. Use each other’s first names and avoid “he” or “she.”
    • If you share a complaint, raise it as your concern and follow it up with a constructive suggestion as to how it might be resolved.
    • If something is not working for you, please tell the mediator so your concern can be addressed.
    • Listen carefully and try to understand what the other is saying without being judgmental about the person or the message.