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What is the best way to ensure mediation will work?

There is no full proof method for a successful mediation, but all successful experiences with the mediation process have one thing in common…"Good Communication".

Your mediator will do all he or she can to ensure that you both are communicating the best you can, but it helps tremendously if the mediator’s clients understand the value of good communication and how good communication skills can actually be executed.

Here are a few rules for good communication:

1. When you are talking, make sure you explain your intentions for doing so prior to giving the facts.

2. When speaking, be as clear and accurate as possible. Sometimes "less said carries more of a voice".

3. Do not place blame when speaking. Accept that any problems are mutually shared. Placing blame will quickly deteriorate any form of good communication.

4. Do not use definitive remarks like "he never" or "she always". These types of statements are typically exaggerations and tend to place blame.

5. If you have a problem, explain what it is, but do not follow your explanation with your own solution. Allow a breathing period for discussion and then introduce your remedy.

6. When speaking, make it known how you feel. Do not be afraid to show a little emotion.

7. When listening, give that person your full attention and do not be hesitant to ask the speaker to repeat something or further clarify it.

8. When listening, focus on what is being said rather than what you think the individual is going to say next.

9. When listening, try to refrain from thinking of what you are going to say next.

10. Never interrupt!