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Reasons for Rejecting Mediation

Reasons for Rejecting Mediation

What is a common reason for people refusing mediation?



Full Transcript

Yes, you can start to sort of see, for example, a mediator will explain ‘We don’t take sides, we don’t judge events. We just try to facilitate a conversation between you’ or something. To a person who just told you they don’t want to talk to their neighbour, having been asked the question ‘Have you tried talking to your neighbour’? So, that’s one bad thing.


And then, this will sort of roll out. So, in the work, what I do is I play the transcript in time with the audio so that people can live through the call live. And you see the mediator say in the words that come at the same time ‘We don’t take sides, we don’t judge events, we just facilitate conversation.’


And then, there’s a silence. And it’s a bit like a tumbleweed sort of going across. And it’s 2.5 seconds. Which might not sound very long, but once you start to understand that between two turns at talk you might get a beat which is like a tenth of a second or something. 2.5 seconds is an age. And you can really feel it. You can really hear that painful.


And then the person says ‘Well, I don’t really think they’d cooperate.’ And then the mediator says ‘No.’ And they haven’t got a resource for handling what is a very common reason for people saying ‘No’ to mediation which is ‘They’re the kind of person who won’t.’ So, it’s like mediators don’t know their racetrack. They don’t know that an explanation about sides and versions is going to be off-putting. And they don’t know that the number one reason how people will get out of mediation is by saying ‘They’re the kind of person who won’t.’ If you’re not ready for that, then the end of the call is nigh.

About the mediator

Liz Stokoe Profile Pic

Liz graduated from University of Central Lancashire (Preston Poly) in 1993 with a traditional psychology degree. She then completed three years PhD research at Northampton University (then Nene College) with Dr Eunice Fisher. Liz videoed interaction in university tutorials, and conducted conversation analyses of topic production, topic management, academic identity, and the relevance of gender. She developed these and other interests whilst worki... View Mediator