Mediators are facilitators, not advocates

Be prepared to give on some issues and be honest to ensure success in mediation
By Barbara Sharp
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/18/2009

The courts are becoming increasingly burdened with more cases than can reasonably be handled. Issues between parties are becoming more complex and, more than ever before, courts and tribunals try to determine if the parties in conflict have attempted mediation before they are allowed to present their case. Employers and employees, or unions, need to be ready and willing to embark on this joint process.

Although the mediation process can solve the problem or conflict, success in mediation depends a lot on the parties’ understanding about the process and the purpose for the mediation.

Mediators generally enter a mediation process by instantly trying to assess the parties and where the source of power is in the respective parties. This helps a mediator throughout the process when she needs to obtain support or agreement from one or the other group as they work towards a solution.