Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party facilitates a conversation between parties in dispute, either at a joint meeting or by meeting privately with the individuals, to help them to find a mutually acceptable resolution.
All parties agree to this strict code. The meetings themselves are confidential and any terms agreed are confidential unless the parties agree otherwise;
which means the discussions can’t be referred to in any subsequent proceedings;
you can’t be forced into mediation, you can’t be forced to say anything during the mediation, and you can leave the process at any time;
the mediator will not adjudicate the case, not decide who’s right or wrong, nor advise on legal merits;
mediation isn’t interested in why people did this or that; instead it is interested in what the affect of these actions was on the parties themselves and on others;
if you want to know who has the better story, ask someone on your own side – they’ll tell you what you want to hear. The mediator remains impartial;
the back story is important, but ultimately mediation is less concerned with what happened than what is going to happen next;
the parties can mutually agree any outcome, fitting the solution much more closely to their needs and interests than the limited and inflexible options open to a judge or arbitrator;
Non-binding until the point of settlement
don’t be afraid to make suggestions, nothing sticks until you come to the end. A civil and commercial mediation usually results in a binding agreement. Most workplace mediations result in a non-binding statement of intention, though there is no reason terms cannot be made binding, if the parties choose;
or, as I prefer to term it, what you can live with/what you can live with. If one party wins everything, it usually follows that the other party gets less of what they want. No one agrees to anything in a mediation, except voluntarily.