About this service
Mediation is a facilitated negotiation process. Interact Online mediation is delivered through live video meeting technology unless one of the participants is unable to use the internet for video meetings. In that case, we will work with you using your telephones.
You must participate in a mandatory pre-mediation process before mediation in order to prepare for productive negotiation during your mediation.
The fee is the cost for one person for the mediation session.
How long does mediation take?
The session length will be booked in for three hours. That may include a short break and will include a private check-in with each of you and the mediators at some stage of the process.
If your issues are very complex more than one session may be required.
You may decide during the mediation to arrange a follow-up. Check-in sessions are usually in four to six weeks. The purpose is to talk about the success of your agreement and to negotiate any adjustments needed once the resolution plan has been put into practice.
What is the process?
We use a three stage, nine step mediation process.
Stage One – Identifying the issues
1. Mediators Opening Statements – reminding you that it is a confidential process that can’t be used as evidence in court and that the mediators will ensure that you both feel safe and treat each other respectfully in the way you speak and in considering each others points of view.
2. Parties Opening Statements – the mediators will assist each of you in turn to identify the issues you want to resolve during the session.
3. Agenda for the mediation – based on what each of you has identified as being important to resolve the mediators will establish an agenda for the mediation session to guide the resolution process.
Stage Two – Understanding the issues and options
4. Exploration of the issues – you will now speak directly with each other to ensure that you have a common understanding of the issues and their impact on each of you. The mediators will facilitate the discussion and help make sure that you don’t fall into negative conversational patterns from past unconstructive attempts to resolve the dispute. No debating or arguing about each others point of view!
5. Brainstorming options for resolution – once you both understand the issues from each other’s perspectives the mediators will guide you towards starting to look at ways to resolve them. This part of the mediation is part brainstorming session, part problem-solving. It is not the same as what you might have done in the past to try and force each other to agree to your ideas for what needs to happen. If you have properly engaged in the exploration phase you should have new ideas for a resolution that will be more acceptable to both of you.
6. Private Sessions – this is the individual and confidential check-in session. It may have happened earlier if someone is a bit stuck in old thinking or requests a break or check-in but will definitely happen before the negotiation begins to lock down agreed actions so that you have a chance to stop and reflect on what has happened so far.
Stage Three – Agreements and future actions
7. Negotiation – negotiation is the process of making and considering proposals for future courses of action. If the mediation is productive each issue that you have identified as being important to resolve will have some sort of resolution negotiated. The mediators will help you to look at the proposals from various perspectives so that you consider the short and long term potential consequences as well as any other people who will be impacted by what is proposed.
8. Agreement – reaching an agreement in mediation is voluntary. That is a good thing because if you only need agree if you actually agree it is more likely that you will actually do what you have said you will do. The mediators will help you to document the agreement you reach in language that makes sense to you.
In some mediations, the agreement may need to be made into a legally enforceable agreement or contract. You should seek the assistance and advice of lawyers to do that. In others, it is more of a moral agreement and you may decide on a review session in the future. If your agreement is to change behaviour that is a really good idea as we all know that promising to change behaviour is easy to say but harder to do. Mediators are not judges or arbitrators who tell you what you must do. In mediation, it is up to you if you reach an agreement which is what makes mediated agreements stronger.
9. Closing the session – At the end of the time scheduled for the mediation the mediator will close the session, talk with you about how they will get any documented agreement to you and ask if you want to book in for any further mediation or review sessions. It is then up to you to take the next steps to resolve the dispute by doing what you have said you will do.
How long is your waiting list?
We don’t have a waiting list however you must participate in the pre-mediation processes before you can book in for a mediation session. Pre-Mediation.
What if I can’t afford the fee?
Interact Support uses social enterprise principals so we don’t turn people away because of their financial situation.
Your mediator will talk with you about your financial situation and ability to pay our professional fees and may provide you with a discount coupon to reduce the cost of the services to a level you can afford.