Skills of an Effective Mediator

By Derek Sarluis

While Mediators must be excellent listeners and communicators while remaining neutral, other skills must be possessed and effectively employed.

  • Knowledge of the applicable law
    • Allows the Mediator to use strengths and weaknesses of the case to influence parties
  • Credibility
    • The Mediator must gain the respect of the parties
  • Tenacity
    • Keeping the parties talking even when it appears an impasse may have been reached
  • Creativity
    • Stepping outside of the box and knowing when to do so
  • Persuasion
    • Shuttling offers back and forth accomplishes little
    • Persuasion while remaining neutral is the key
  • Intuition
    • Determine the actual interests of the parties rather than focusing on the legal positioning
  • Get to know the room
    • One of the parties may be the dominant force



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