Mediation is designed to help people negotiate solutions step-by-step.
The first stage is for me as a mediator, is to speak with each person confidentially to find out the background to the situation, what each person hopes to resolve and discuss whether mediation might be suitable. This is usually in a separate meeting called a MIAM. If everybody agrees, then mediation can be arranged and organised so that everyone feels able to speak up for themselves.
I manage the mediation process helping all parties stick to the point, observe rules of courtesy and discuss issues in a logical and manageable way. I don’t take sides or tell people what they should do. I help everyone reality test any proposed solutions and encourage everyone to get advice when they need it. Special confidentiality rules apply so that discussion can’t be quoted in court. This gives everyone the freedom to raise and explain their ideas about how to resolve issues.