Frequently asked questions and answers:
Question: Do I have to sit in the same room as my counterparts?
Answer: If it is inconvenient for one or both parties to be in the same room from the start, separate meetings can be held (this may also happen during a mediation meeting). However, experience indicates that it is necessary prior to the final agreement to be together in the same room. It is also the case that all parties - irrespective of their role - are affected by a conflict: it may be helpful for the individual to know that everyone is feeling the same way.
Question: How can I be sure that the mediator is neutral?
Answer: There must be confidence that the mediator has no particular empathy for any of the parties and will work loyally towards an agreement that addresses all parties' interests. The mediator is obliged not to take on matters for parties that she has previously advised, been employed by or similar. If this trust is not present at all times, mediation must be stopped.
Question: How can I be sure that my counterparts adhere to the confidentiality policy?
Answer: In the same way as with the mediator, trust is crucial here. If a party does not have confidence throughout mediation, this should be discussed. An agreement must be reached with regards to which knowledge can be used after mediation and which cannot. In the worst-case scenario, mediation must be stopped. This is something I have not yet experienced, probably because the trust was there from the beginning, as the parties chose to try mediation.
Question: Can I freely leave mediation, if I do not like being there or do not want to contribute to a solution?
Answer: Yes, you are free to leave mediation. Mediation is voluntary. From the beginning, I always invite the parties to tell me why they may wish to leave the meeting. I have not yet experienced anyone leaving a meeting.
Question: If my company contacts Buhl Mediation and asks to initiate mediation, won't the other parties to the proceedings believe that we have an alliance in advance?
Answer: I often get that question. I do not mediate in cases if I have, at any time, had a relationship with one of the parties; It's that simple. And I speak for a long time with each of the parties before we start the actual mediation meeting.