We ask people to allow two hours for a meeting.
In that time we will take you through a simple five-stage process designed to give people a chance to speak and be heard and then find ways forward together:
1) There is a short introduction from the mediator – we’ll clarify the mediation process and matters of housekeeping.
We’ll also find out whether there are any ground rules you and your neighbour would like to agree to, to make the conversation more comfortable. The essentials are to listen to the other person’s perspective, to work together towards mutually agreeable solutions and to maintain a respectful atmosphere.
2) We then give people a few minutes uninterrupted time, in turn, to describe the situation from their point of view and what it is they want to talk about / resolve.
3) We will clarify an agenda following (2) – a list of issues that need to be talked about.
4) For every agenda item / issue, our job is to ensure people have had a chance to explain their situations, positions and needs and we then go on to help people find solutions.
5) Where people reach agreement on a way forward, our job is to write-up these agreements and we will circulate after the meeting.