are considered successful if the disputants settle. Mediations
are considered very successful if they settle quickly.
However, a mediation may be successful even if settlement
is not immediately reached. When disputants with conflicting
interests come before a mediator, the disputants frequently
have assumptions about their own position and their adversarys
position. These assumptions are frequently the source of
conflict. Before settlement can occur those assumptions must
be challenged through a process of education.
The process of education includes a discussion of these assumptions
so each disputant understands the assumptions and their basis.
The discussion must also include an analysis of the validity
of these assumptions. The process further requires a period
of reflection. Further education may be necessary as new insights
are obtained. This usually takes time. Settlement may not
be immediately apparent to the disputants. However, this does
not mean that the mediation has not been successful. The process
of education almost always generates new perspectives which
in turn will yield new options for eventual settlement.
are successful when, for example:
a manager learns from an employee the human effect
of a decision;
a case-altering fact is learned by a lawyer prior
to extensive discovery;
a company learns the importance of an apology in sexual
harassment litigation; or
the lawyers client comes to a better understanding
of the position of the other party to the litigation
and that the client may not be successful in the
© Triage Mediation Services Inc. 2001