Before your first mediation session
There are several things you can do to prior to your mediation appointment that will help streamline the process and help you make the best decisions. Proper preparation requires you to look inside to determine what you want and need from the mediation.
- Your Goals - What do you hope to accomplish during mediation?
- The Issues - Determine which issues are in dispute between you and the other party, these are the items that will need to be addressed during mediation.
- Potential Solutions - Brainstorm ideas for solutions and try not to limit yourself to just what you want, but consider all the potential options to resolve the issues.
- Your Needs - What needs do you have which must be addressed to reach a settlement? What needs have to be met for you to agree?
- Consider the Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) & the Worst Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (WATNA) - Think about what alternatives you have if you don't agree. Write them down. From those written options, identify your best alternative and your worst alternative. This can help give you perspective and objective criteria to compare potential settlement offers.
Sitting down prior to your mediation and working through these exercises can help you identify the issues to be addressed. It will give you a better understanding of what you need and if a potential settlement is a good option and will meet your needs.
Knowing this allows you to come into mediation with the confidence that you can identify a good settlement offer and know when no agreement is better.