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5 Steps of the Mediation Process

5 Steps of the Mediation Process

The Process of Mediation: A Comprehensive Guide

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process in which the parties to a dispute agree to work with a neutral third-party mediator to find a mutually satisfactory solution. The mediation procedure is used to resolve conflicts ranging from workplace disputes and family issues to business disagreements and insurance cases. In this article, we will explore the five steps involved in the mediation process.

Step 1: Introduction

The first step of mediation is an introduction. The mediator will introduce themselves, explain their role, and discuss the mediation procedure. Usually, the mediator will also ask each party for their introduction, allowing all participants to understand the individual making the claims and counterclaims.

Step 2: Statement of Problem

The second step of mediation is to identify the problem. The conflicting parties will explain their respective grievances and how the conflict arose. This helps both parties to get a better understanding of the matter, each other’s perspective and to recognize each other’s desires and needs.

Step 3: Exploration into Interests and Options

In this phase, the mediator speaks with each individual separately in a private session, known as a caucus. The mediator will ask them about their goals, priorities, and expectations for the mediation process. This step allows the mediator to gather information to develop better solutions tailored to the parties’ specific needs. Additionally, the mediator will help each party evaluate various options to resolve the conflict.

Step 4: Negotiations

After exploring the interests and options, the mediator will then engage the parties in discussions. During negotiations, the parties will attempt to engage in constructive dialogue to find solutions that are mutually satisfactory. The mediator will share the positions each individual took during the exploration phase. Then, the parties will work together to seek a common ground. Negotiating is where the parties engage in a give-and-take discussion, compromising where possible and standing firm on critical issues where necessary.

Step 5: Agreement and Closure

In this last phase, the mediator will help both parties create an agreement. The focus is on an agreement that is mutually acceptable. Once the parties arrive at a solution, the mediator will prepare the agreement, which formalizes the outcome of mediation. It is also worth noting that the agreement usually does not need to be enforceable in court, although it could be if both parties consent to it.


In summary, mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process designed to resolve disputes outside of court. Using a neutral third-party mediator, the mediation process endeavors to help both parties find an agreeable, mutually satisfactory solution. If you’re considering mediation, taking these five steps can help you create a productive discussion, ensure that your interests are addressed and assist you in creating a solution that meets both parties’ needs. In conclusion, the mediation process offers a way to resolve conflicts amicably while maintaining a positive relationship between the parties.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is defined as a negotiation to resolve differences that is conducted by an impartial party. The mediation process is considered private and confidential between the parties involved. A typical mediation will involve the parties themselves as well as their representatives plus an outside, neutral mediator. The mediator is the focal point of mediation. His/her job is to listen and evaluate the situation and attempt to resolve the matter through an amicable settlement.

How does the process take place?


The first step in mediation is deciding on an appropriate mediator. This is an important step in that the parties must come to an agreement on what they feel is a competent, experienced, and neutral mediator. After deciding on a mediator the parties come to an agreement on when and where mediation negotiations take place.


Upon the completion of these preliminary steps the parties must agree to an “adequate exchange of information” in order for mediation to be successful. Prior to the firs mediation session the parties will submit to the mediator what is known as a “Position Statement.” This is basically the equivalent of a brief that one would file with a court during litigation.


After the mediator has received and evaluated the Position Statement the actual mediation sessions will begin. At that point the mediator will have a joint meeting attended by both parties and their legal representatives. At the meeting the parties will openly discuss their problems including the facts, evidence and legal authority in justifying their position.


Following the initial joint session the mediator will meet with each party individually. This is known as a “caucus.” The purpose of the caucus is not only to gather more information from the parties that they would not normally share with the other party but to attempt to convince the party of a prudent course of action.


The result of mediation is not binding on any individual who is a party to it. The way that a successful mediation is concluded is by the signing of a written agreement outlining the conditions of the settlement. This basically acts as a contract between the parties. If a dispute later arises out of the concluded mediation the signed settlement can be evidence that a contract existed between the parties.

What if mediation fails to reach an amicable result?

If the parties fail to reach an amicable result from this “facilitative” form of mediation the next step is to undergo an “evaluative” approach to mediation. When this happens the mediator will take the role of a “fictitious courtroom.” His/her job at this point is to take into consideration all the facts and evidence and predict what a court of law would conclude if the matter were to proceed to the litigation stages.