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Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)


Sample Introductions For Mediators





         It's good to see the two of you here. I'm (Mediator's Name) and this is (Mediator's Name). We will be serving as your Mediators. You may call us by our first names; how would you like us to address you?

        The purpose of our meeting is to help you work out an understanding acceptable to both of you to resolve the situation that has been developing for you. 

        First, we would like to explain how we will proceed, so you know what is happening next. We will begin by asking each of you to explain to us as Mediators exactly how you view things. We will do our best to understand exactly how it looks from your shoes. After that, we will identify and agree on what the basic issues of disagreement are. Then we will work together with you in examining exactly what you want of each other and what some possible solutions might be. Our goal is to help you find a solution that both of you feel comfortable with.

        We would like you to understand what our role is here. Our goal is to help You figure out Your own solution to Your problems. You are the ones who will be living with your solution from here on, so we want you to be the ones who decide what the solution will be. We won't be telling you what to do or trying to judge who is right or wrong. We are much more interested in helping you to think about solutions for the future than in trying to judge what happened in the past. Mainly we are interested in helping to talk about a solution that both of you can live with. We want to assure you that anything that you may say during our session is confidential. We will be taking notes from time to time so that we can remember things, but when we finish, we will destroy our notes.

        Either of you may ask to take a break at anytime during our discussion. For example, if you feel yourself getting really upset at any time and feel that you really need to take a break to simmer down a little, let us know, and we will take a little time out. You can step outside for a few minutes if you wish, but we will ask you to let us know what is happening and then to return when you are ready to continue. Sometimes it is helpful for us as Mediators to meet separately with each of you during our discussion, so we may be doing that occasionally as well.

        It is necessary for this process for each of you to sign this written agreement to mediate. If you would just look it over, please. It basically says that you have come of your own accord, that what you say here will be kept confidential, and that the Mediators will not be asked to release information discussed here, nor will they be summoned into court to testify on matters disclosed here.

        Last of all, we would like to discuss ground rules a bit.

        We ask each of you to agree not to interrupt when the other person is speaking. We have placed paper and pencil here on the table so that you can keep notes about any responses to make. We also would like for you to agree to avoid the use of any abusive language, name calling, etc. These rules are especially important in the next part of our discussion here. (Address each Party by name and ask) (Name), can you agree. . .

Moving into the "The Story-Telling Stage'':

        We'd like to begin now with hearing each of you explain your perspective on this situation. is it all right with you if we begin with (Name of Complainant), since he/she initiated the mediation? We will hear from you (Name of Responding Party) when he/she is finished. In case there are things you disagree with as (Name of Complainant) speaks, make note of them and explain your perspective on them when it is your turn. (Name of Complainant), you can go ahead and begin.



            Good morning, I am , from the mediation program. I am your mediator today, which means that I am here to help you and to aid your efforts to resolve your conflict. To help you, I will stress three things:

        One, your voluntary participation. The mediation process exists for you benefit, which is why it can be voluntary. I will be helping you make your own choices in your own self-interest by examining you essential needs and positions. 

        Two, I will emphasize fairness. This meant that I will treat each side equally and act only inside the limits you authorize.

        Three, confidentiality. The settlement conference is off-limits, just as stated in the mediation agreement you signed. That is a contract. Even more, chat we talk about in private remains private unless you say otherwise.

        To start the process, I will ask each side to put their issues on the table and to tell us about their case. You can take the time you need, but most people take about 15 to 20 minutes to describe things. When both sides have finished, we will then break into separate groups or caucuses and work from there to resolve the matters.

        ____________, I would like for you to start by sharing some information about how you see the situation. What would you like to tell us? 
Last Updated June 17, 1998.