1. Listen With Care
Focus on being an attentive and receptive listener when you enter your mediation. It is important to try and understand your opponent's side of the story. Your cooperation will improve the quality of the discussion and encourage your opponent to be more receptive to your position. After all, everyone wants to feel like they are being heard.
2. Be Willing to Compromise
During mediation, you may not get everything that you want. Understanding that you will need to compromise with your opponent to reach a resolution is key to a successful mediation. Be ready to give in on one or two things so that you can focus on getting something else that is more important to you.
3. Look Forward, Not Backwards
Mediation is a negotiation process, and feelings of angst and resentment will prevent you from participating fully in the discussion. There will be an opportunity during the process for you to express your concerns and be "heard." However, after that stage is complete, it is important to focus on options that allow you to resolve the conflict in a manner that achieves your primary desired outcomes. Realizing "what's done is done," and it is best to spend your energy on solutions that allow you to move forward.
Mediation can be a productive and positive experience, as long as you are willing to keep an open mind, be accountable, and work toward the shared goal of resolving the conflict and moving on. With these tips, and the skill of an experienced mediator, your mediation is sure to be a great success for all involved.