1. No two situations are exactly alike. Thus, we do not have a "one-size-fits-all" approach to mediation.
2. There is a vast difference between settling a dispute and resolving a conflict, and our goal is to do both. People may reach a settlement, yet continue to be extremely hostile towards one another, which often results in more conflict down the road. Resolution enables people to walk away with a sense of peace, closure and agreements that are satisfying and long-lasting.
3. People in conflict need to communicate and need be heard. They need to talk about what is most important to them.
4. Joint sessions can be extremely beneficial when skillfully guided by an experienced mediator, and should be considered on a case by case basis.
5. Conflict is emotional by its nature. It is normal for emotions to surface during mediation and they are not to be feared or avoided. Appropriate emotional expression helps parties reach resolution and closure.
6. Attorneys play an essential role in counseling clients and helping bring cases to resolution, but the primary focus in mediation is on the parties. Parties are encouraged to participate fully in joint and private sessions.