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Flexibility in the Mediation Process

Flexibility in the Mediation Process

How much room is there for flexibility and innovation in the mediation process?

 

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I think we have immense flexibility. I think we have as much flexibility as we have imagination and courage. And that’s not to say one can impose it on others, but I find when I’m with people who’ve hired me, so they’ve got an expectation that I have something to offer, once I’ve got to a point where there’s a level of trust that’s been built, if I say, ‘Look, it seems to me that we should probably do X next. What do you think?’ Most of the time they’ll say, ‘Okay. Let’s try it.’ It’s not that… I would couch it by, as I said earlier, by saying, ‘This is why, this is what I’d hope to achieve, and there are no guarantees in life.’ I find a considerable willingness to go with that if you’re prepared to invest time building a relationship with parties.

 

I think in a way, other than the process I would want to start by saying, ‘How do you build relationships with newcomers, strangers, in a short space of time so that they will invest a very substantial degree of trust in you?’ Because the answer to that question is probably the answer to how you go about the early stages of a mediation. Again, it’s approaching it the other way. It’s not saying, ‘Here’s the process. It’s saying, ‘Here’s what we need to achieve. I wonder what process my help us travel in that direction.

About the mediator

He is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished ‘top rank’ mediators in the market. He’s been full time in this field for over 20 years and has a thriving mediation practice. The Legal 500 have him down as one of the best in the field. He was for 11 years Executive Director of CEDR. and he’s worked with some of the major ADR organisations across the globe. Before becoming a mediator, he practised as a solicitor in the UK and Paris,... View Mediator