Mediation – Understanding How it Works
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Back to Basics: The Six-Step Method
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There are several ways to breakdown the mediation process. Many people label different parts of the process and designated "steps". Some courts have six steps, others have seven, and some may not even promote a "step" model. Here, we are going to outline the widely-used "Six-Step Method" of mediation.

The first step is the introduction, where the mediator introduces herself to the parties, sets the tone for the mediation, and lays out the ground rules of the process. The second step is where the parties constructively tell their sides of the story in order for the mediator to help identify the problems. Once the problems have been laid on the table, the mediator will help the parties to identify the underlying issues as part of the third step. The fourth step involves brainstorming amongst the parties to hopefully generate some possible resolutions that will satisfy all parties involved. The fifth step is where the mediator helps the parties to determine what the most realistic alternatives will be in order to resolve the issues. Finally, just like any good "" article, the sixth step is the conclusion, where the mediation agreement is drafted and the parties are praised for their rational thinking and hopefully productive behavior.

Next, we’ll look at the process of mediation in greater detail.