I enjoy my work as a mediator and I find that time passes quickly when I am in the middle of a mediation.
I recently held a session between two parties and their respective lawyers. The dispute had been going on for more than 4 years and a great deal of money was involved. There had already been several unsuccessful mediations and the claimants were heading for trial. I was brought in as a last ditch effort to resolve the dispute.
First, I discussed the problem at length with both lawyers. We explored the legal issues and the reasons they felt were at the root of the antagonism. Then the lawyers agreed to let me discuss this antagonism with their respective clients.
I spent about an hour with each client, primarily discussing their goals. Both said they were eager to resolve the dispute. I then explained the process and conducted an intake as to the history. We concluded that the goal was to resolve the matter.
We set the matter for mediation and I had another discussion with the clients and lawyers a day or two beforehand. They all agreed that our goal was to reach a resolution.
On the day, I met with both parties and their lawyers prior to the mediation. We then proceeded to a joint session. We first tackled and resolved some of the smaller issues before moving on to the pivotal issue of how much was owed. One party was claiming well into seven figures and the other was offering in the low sixes.
All up the mediation lasted 9-1/2 hours but I barely noticed the passage of time. At the end we got a full agreement, signed by everyone present.
I asked for feedback and one said that I was professional, positive and fair, the other that she was grateful for my hard work in the mediation and its successful resolution.
I had the biggest smile on my face as I walked back to my car. How good does it feel at the end of the day to know I have been responsible for everyone walking away with a positive attitude!
I believe that there isn’t any conflict that I couldn’t help resolve –even perhaps including that of the Middle East!