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Reusable Mediator Language

 

Thank you both for participating in this online mediation -- I am very confident that we can resolve this dispute. I have reviewed your messages so far and I am hoping to get a little more information. XXX, I understand ______, can you please share a little bit more about __________? YYY, can you share your perspective of ___________ as well?

 

Hello! My name is ___________. We have a lot to cover and to discover today. I am confident we can do this together. It's clear you both are ready to work this out and I can help you with this. In order to start things off, can you each tell me your names? Then we'll start to untangle the good questions each of you are asking.

 

It sounds like both of you are frustrated with this situation. Let's focus on the core issues. _______, can you describe more about the ___________ problem? Any papers or documents that you could share with us might be helpful.  ___________ you mentioned you have questions about _______________. Can you share a little bit more about what you’d like to know?

 

I would also like both of you to reflect a little more and tell me what are the goals that you wish to achieve in this process.

 

Time out. Let's take a breath and step back. This is your opportunity to be guided through a constructive process. The results may surprise you. Are you willing to let me help you work through your disagreement?

 

If I may, I would like each of you to communicate to me separately and confidentially with your understanding of your agreement to do work; the work performed; and the reasons for the positions you have stated above.

 

You both sound frustrated and I look forward to working with you to achieve a mutually acceptable resolution. 

 

Thank you for participating in this mediation. Let's step back so that I can the lay of the land from both you, but one at a time. First, I would also like both of you to reflect a little more and tell me what are the goals that you wish to achieve in this process.

 

It is clear that both of you are unhappy with this situation; however, please consider walking in each others shoes for a moment and refrain from using language that only stalls the process from moving forwards towards something you can both can live with.

 

This sounds like a difficult situation for each of you, but not one that is all that unusual. Might I ask, purchaser, if we can work out a financial settlement, are you prepared to keep the car. And Seller, is there a chance that you might be willing to assist in making this work financially to some extent?

 

Thank you both for sharing this information. It sounds like this has been a really frustrating experience for you both - complainant, from your perspective, you felt hurt that _________, and respondent, from your perspective, you thought that you were transparent about _______ and it sounds like it's hurtful for you to be accused of lying. Does that sound right?

 

Thank you for outlining your positions here. I would like to assist in resolving this problem, which each of you clearly feels strongly about. In order to move forward, I would like to ask each of you to write separately to me first, then I will have you re-engage your conversation. Is that okay with each of you? We'll only do this if you both agree.

 

I understand that you are both upset. First thing we need to do is bring the temperature down. To start, let us discuss the procedure that I hope will help you resolve this dispute. I ask you both to think about how we can discuss the issues in a way that can be heard by each side.

 

Thank you both for already putting effort into resolving this issue. Let's review; you agreed on a purchase price and the buyer drove the car away. Two days later, the buyer is saying there was a problem and went to their mechanic and received a diagnosis and a cost to fix it. The seller is questioning this evaluation. Do I have that right? Did I miss anything?

 

Additionally, I'd like us to think about all our options here for for each of you are looking for to fulfill your expectations. So, I'm going to pose some questions to you both: What is most important to you about what happened after the sale. What would you like to see happen. What would make the story have a happy ending?

 

To be clear, these questions are in the spirit of brain-storming and not promising what will happen. The benefit will be the opportunity to imagine more options. 

 

You’ll both have an opportunity to explain your side of the situation. However, I would ask that you not interrupt one another and try to be respectful to the other by listening to what they have to say.