AAA Handbook on Mediation - 2nd Edition - Electronic
AAA Handbook on Mediation - 2nd Edition - Hardcover
TEN INGREDIENTS FOR AN EFFECTIVE MEDIATION
Bruce A. Blitman
When I started out as a mediator in 1989, my definition of a successful mediation was pretty simple: if the case settled and I was fully paid, the mediation was a success. However, through the years, that definition has evolved. I realized that while settling a case is always nice, it is not essential for a mediation to be considered a success. I came to believe that a mediation is successful as long as something positive is accomplished and the parties and their counsel leave the mediation session with a better understanding of their respective motivations, needs and interests. The point is, no one who participates in a mediation should feel like a failure because the mediation did not conclude with a signed agreement.
Everyone would like to know why mediations end the way they do. I generally analyze each mediation after the session ends to try to understand the result. This analysis has revealed common ingredients, which I would like to share, that were present in mediations where something positive was achieved, but were missing in mediations that ended badly. No one can guarantee that a mediation will be successful before it happens. But if you make an effort to see that these ingredients exist in your mediation, you will significantly raise the odds that the parties will reach an agreement, and even if they don’t they will have learned something from the process. If that’s not a success, what is?
Bruce A. Blitman is a mediator and an attorney with a solo practice in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He has been certified by the Florida Supreme Court to serve as a mediator in cases referred by the Florida county, circuit civil and family courts. A mediator since 1989, Mr. Blitman is a Diplomat member of the Florida Academy of Professional Mediators and is a past president of The Academy. He can be reached at (954) 437-3446, or via e-mail at BABmediate@aol.com