What is the main role of a mediator?

The mediator assists and guides the parties toward their own resolution. The mediator does not decide the outcome, but helps the parties understand and focus on the important issues needed to reach a resolution.

Mediation involves a neutral person, the mediator, who guides parties through communication to promote compromise, settlement, or understanding. A mediator may not place their own views or decisions on the issue at hand. Instead, it is up to the mediator to help you and the other party to come to an agreement.

The mediator must not only be a good communicator, but he or she must also understand the process of communication because they control the flow of communication. Understanding how to communicate well and read the communication dynamics of those involved is absolutely vital to the process.

(1) The mediator shall assist the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution of all or part of the issues in dispute. The mediator has no
authority to impose a resolution of the dispute on the parties.  

(2) The mediator shall conduct the mediation in good faith and in an expeditious and cost-effective manner.

(3) The mediator is under confidentiality restrictions. First, the mediator cannot discuss the conflict outside the mediation, except under very limited circumstances (such as those that might have to do with a settlement agreement reached, or if one party physically threatens the other party).

(4) Sometimes a case needs a different perspective, a neutral perspective. Someone who can see the gray between the white and black
positions of the parties. Mediation is a powerful tool in helping the parties reach a resolution of their issues on their terms. Mediation encourages
creative problem solving. The process is private, less costly than litigation, and tends to reduce the adversarial nature of court proceedings.

During mediation, the mediator could help you set realistic expectations and avoid getting bogged down in issues related to fault or truth. A mediator might suggest ideas that you and the other party have not considered and thereby guide you toward an acceptable compromise. Because the outcome will arise from the input of both parties, mediation often prevents hard feelings compared to a court decision that might not reflect your top priorities.