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  • Writer's pictureGeraldine Waxman, ESQ.

Emergence and Mediation

Mediation is built on the interaction between the parties. That interaction

leads to something "new" being created which becomes greater than the

sum of its parts. This process is called "emergence".

The "answers" to the dispute are already there. Each party has an answer that, when "emergence" occurs by working together, allows each of the parties to assist each other with an agreement that offer the best solutions. Mediators, however, in their desire to successfully "get a deal done" more often than not interrupt this concept of assisting the parties not by keeping them together but instead mediating by caucus.

The mediator must ask him or herself the reason for the caucus? Is it to successfully get a deal done and thus be seen as a successful mediator? Is it the mediator's need to have a successful outcome that has compelled mediation by caucus? Are we, as mediators "dispute resolvers" only?

Caution should be taken not to caucus so that it is 'shuttle mediation' that corrals the parties towards a compromise. Rather the mediator should allow the issues to emerge. It is through this emergence that the parties themselves find unexpected and acceptable outcomes.

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