How the Mediator Can Reframe the Other Party's Position.

The parties are often upset when they are taking to the mediator alone in caucus. One side might be angry, distraught, and accusatory and say things that would solicit a negative response if unedited. To relay the party's position, the Mediator often needs to change the tone so that the response can keep the mediation going. Here are some examples of toning down the language.

Party: I am mad and won't take it anymore!

Mediator's Interpretation: The other side is a little upset.

Party: He is a crook and liar.

Mediator's Interpretation. The other side does not believe you.

Party: He did not send the item.

Mediator's Interpretation: The party did not receive the item. Have you sent it yet and do you have tracking?

Party: There is no point in mediating. Just close the case.

Mediator's Interpretation: The buyer wants me to close the case. Is there anything you can do to change his mind?

Party: The other party is a big jerk.

Mediator's Interpretation: The other party does not like what you have done.

Party: I don't trust him.

Mediator's Interpretation: The buyer does not think you will follow through.

Party: The seller ripped me off.

Mediator's Interpretation: The buyer says he does not like what you did.

Party: He is just stupid.

Mediator's Interpretation: The other party does not think you understand his position.

Party: Refurbished is supposed to be like new. This was a piece of garbage with scratches and dings.

Mediator's Interpretation: His idea of refurbished is different from yours. He says there were scratches and dings.

Party: I would not sell my house to him if he was the last person on earth.

Mediator's Interpretation: He has decided not to sell the house to you.

Mary Greenwood, Attorney Mediator, and Author of

How To Mediate Like A Pro: 42 Rules for Mediating Disputes and

How to Negotiate like a Pro: 41 Rules for Resolving Disputes

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