What is the recipe for producing a good mediation, every time?
Having been in the industry for longer than I can even care to remember (when mediation was nowt but fields, in fact), I’m often asked by people what are the required ingredients to deliver a quintessentially good mediation each and every time?
Well, on the surface of things it’s a rocky road (my rocky road is legendary in our household, by the way).
If it can be compared to baking then these are the key essential ingredients to ensuring the best possible outcome for all parties involved.
A sizeable amount of trust in the recipe – The mediation process WORKS, any good mediator believes in this implicitly and sticks to it, owns the badge and keeps things on point.
Set the right temperature - Any good mediator prepares the environment and ensures all the ingredients will come together at the right time to produce the best results.
The secret ingredient – Confidentiality and neutrality must be maintained at all times – if it isn’t then the whole recipe breaks down - the soufflé goes flat very quickly.
A fair sprinkling of body language and reframing – Body language can say a lot more than words – whether it be your own or observing others. The words we use and how they are framed are often the yeast that makes the bread rise.
Separate the egg - Remove the positions and put to one side for grievances (beware: these leave a very bitter after taste). Mix in the lovely golden interests - these provide nourishment and produce a healthy, appealing result.
The icing on the cake - the parties really can have their cake and eat it, as the outcomes are purely down to them - they decide the flavour of the cake and how they will eat it.
There will be compromise too though - maybe one person preferred a chocolate cake and the other a carrot cake. If they both agree on a victoria sponge then that's great - so much better than the alternative which may be a grievance hearing manager or a judge deciding they must eat sprouts instead.
Follow the recipe and It’s all a piece of cake really!
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