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In order to achieve the best possible outcome, the mediator first meets the parties separately to gain an understanding of the conflict from each of the party's point of view. This allows the parties to assess what options are best for them and whether a face-to-face meeting is appropriate. It is also important to have an opportunity separate from the other parties in order to reflect without fear of reprisals.

This initial meeting will provide people with a clearer recognition of their key issues and options for further exploration. This meeting will also help identify fears and obstacles that the parties may have in meeting with each other and help them develop strategies when placed in a mediation setting.

The initial meeting can also work for just one party in a conflict, regardless of whether there will be a meeting with the other party. For more on this see Conflict Coaching.

If it is agreed by all parties involved that a mediation is desirable, the mediator will facilitate a face-to-face session in order for the parties to discuss the problem and work out solutions that are acceptable to all involved to resolve the conflict. While this can be a difficult process, the mediator provides a structure that supports all parties involved to ensure the best possible communication between the parties is achieved. It is also possible to have a “shuttle” mediation where parties are in separate rooms though this can be a very time intensive process.
Thanks for your wisdom, clarity, openness and creativity.
- Jean, 2008
Edward has a strongly developed ability to manage and facilitate conflicts at a personal and group level. For example, he worked with a co-facilitator to support two very entrenched groups of committee members who had been in conflict for 16 years come to the point where key individuals were able to communicate in a useful and positive way.
– Jo, Tower Hamlets Mediation Service, 2006

Edward Nelson 2009   Email: info@northlondonmediation.co.uk  Phone: +44 (0) 7832 133 101