Single Mediator vs. Mediation Team
single mediator may function effectively in many situations, there are
advantages to having a team of two or more mediators. In a team effort
there must be clear understandings as to the roles of the respective
members. My recommended modus operandi is as follows:
- One person should be lead
mediator. This individual will conduct all mediation sessions except where
s/he elects to delegate some of this function to an associate mediator. At
any give time management of a session must remain with one person, in
terms of what is said to the parties. If another member of the mediation
team has an idea or question which s/he thinks should be considered while
the session is in progress, this should be conveyed by a note or otherwise
in a short recess to the lead mediator, not offered openly in the session.
- An associate mediator can be of
immense help throughout the entire mediation process. His or her
perceptions and insights into what is happening with one or another party;
ideas as to resolution options; tactical suggestions; and sharing in
participation in caucuses can be invaluable. Likewise a continuing
feedback to and consultation with the team head.
- An associate should have the
absolutely vital responsibility of note taking, with special reference to
points of achieved consensus and other key matters. It is very difficult
for a single mediator to perform this function with facility while
attending sensitively to conduct of a session.
- The lead mediator assumes full
responsibility for decisions as to how the team will proceed. Such
decisions will be made ordinarily only after ample joint consultation
within the team.