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.