Once you’ve had your mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM) and you both agree to proceed with mediation, you will discuss how the process will work. You’ll likely talk about whether you will have joint sessions or shuttle mediation. Shuttle mediation is where the parties stay separate during the whole mediation and the mediator ‘shuttles’ between them to help them find an agreement. Shuttle mediation can be conducted in person with the parties in different rooms, it could also be online in separate virtual rooms or it could be done over the phone.
In some situations it is not appropriate for the parties to be in the same room, for example if there are issues of power imbalance or a history of violence or intimidation. Shuttle mediation may be used when it is felt that a joint session would be unsafe or unproductive.
The benefit of shuttle mediation is that it gives the parties the opportunity to share their concerns and expectations without fear of having those conversations exposed to the other party. This can lead to more productive discussions as each side feels they have been heard and understood.
Another advantage of shuttle mediation is that it can be less emotionally draining than a joint session. This can be a great benefit for those who are experiencing high levels of emotions or have been affected by domestic abuse. It can also be a good way to keep costs down as it takes less time than a full mediation session with joint meetings.
Lastly, shuttle mediation is often used in workplace disputes where the business owners are reluctant to conduct a joint mediation session because it might damage their working relationship or they are concerned that the issue may be misinterpreted by co-workers. It can be a great way to resolve disputes over contracts, misunderstandings and general working relations that can often escalate into costly litigation battles.
While shuttle mediation can be useful in many situations it is important to talk with your mediator and to make sure that the right process is being used. It is also a good idea to take some time out for yourself, mediation can be stressful and tiring, especially if you are not feeling well or have been dealing with a lot of conflict. Taking some time out for yourself can help you to feel more focused and calm during your mediation. If you are unsure about what the best option is for your situation then do not hesitate to contact us, we are happy to advise. We are here to support you every step of the way to a peaceful resolution.