Five qualities to look for In a Mediator
When dealing with a dispute, whether it be between spouses, partners or businesses, it is vital that both parties do the necessary research to feel comfortable with the mediator chosen. Should either party feel uncomfortable or uncertain with the selected mediator the goal that mediation tries to reach will be futile as the parties will not fully commit and participate in the mediation process. Making the entire process nun and void.
Here are 5 qualities to look for in an effective mediator:
A mediator should have the necessary qualifications. For this purpose, always enquire whether the mediator attended a certified mediation course and whether the mediator poses the necessary qualifications. It will be beneficial to request a curriculum vitae from the mediator to familiarize yourself with their background and experience. .
The South African Association for Mediators (SAAM), serves as a platform for individuals who wish to gain more knowledge about mediation and to see whether a mediator is registered with them. If a mediator is registered with SAAM it will confirm that they have the necessary qualifications.
Another tip, is to look for a mediator who has the necessary legal background and/or relevant court experience. Dealing with a mediator that has dealt with the courts and who know the processes and requirements to ensure that the matter is dealt with speedily at the court level is a great benefit to speeding up the mediation
To get to know the mediator, prior to meeting, it will be good to visit the website of the mediator and learn ore about how they present themselves and what they specialize in.
In some instances, you will get testimonials from previous clients, which will give you a good idea of how the mediator deals with the clients.
When deciding what mediator, you want to use, it is adsvisable to attend the first session. This will provide you with the necessary confirmation of trust with the mediator. Both parties must feel comfortable in their presence to ensure an open and honest conversation.
This will also provide you with the opportunity to see how a mediator will conduct the mediation process.
By seeing how the mediator deals with the initial session, you will have a clear indication of the personality and work ethic of the mediator.
A mediator has to be efficient when dealing with clients. The reason being that in most circumstances the process is critical and has to be dealt with speedily and correctly, in order to ensure the smoothest transition for both parties involved.
If a mediator for example does not return your calls or has excessive delays in responding to your correspondence, you’ll know that they are not suitable for you.
It’s very important to see a mediator who falls within your budget restraints. We would strongly advise against just going for the cheapest mediator. In order to ensure that you find a suitable mediator for both parties, you’ll have to do some research and choose a mediator which falls in your budget.
Researching different mediators and their prices, will further ensure that you are aware of what the market-related costs of mediators are.
It’s important to remember when you’re searching for a mediator, a mediator has to remain unbiased. It is no good to look for someone who we can relate to or which we feel will understand the circumstances better. The biggest mistake that can be made is selecting a mediator hoping that they will “choose your side” in the mediation process. When choosing the mediator both parties need to be open minded.