I usually begin mediation sessions by asking a couple why they are coming to mediation. This helps people to remember what kind of process and outcome they are hoping for – as well as lets me know how much they know about the process.
I met with a new couple last week, and when I asked them this question – I was blown away by their answers! In 5 minutes, they described the most idealistic mediation process, and highlighted (what I see as) the benefits of mediation. They said:
- they want to stay amicable
- mediation is less costly
- mediation would allow them to maintain good communication
- makes sense because they have a son
- not a lot of contentious issues between them – why enter a process which might create conflict?
- avoid a war-like session
- get guidance and counsel from neutral, objective persons
- won’t waste money
- more antiseptic – won’t create big wounds
- more transparent – by starting discussions in the room together, they would explore information together, and decide together